Odyssean Album Pure Fabrication Out Now
In their sophomore album of Odyssean size and scope, Communions weave an intricate tapestry from “cultural debris”. While Pure Fabrication follows the arc of a reverse coming of age story, Communions’ Rehof brothers have arrived at a point of bold artistic maturity.
Coming of Age
Communions’ Rehof brothers have reached a new level of artistic maturity with their sophomore album Pure Fabrication. Communions effortlessly straddle the cerebral and the visceral; abrasive punk sensibilities from the artistic underground of Copenhagen’s Mayhem scene are married with anthemic indie- and pop-rock. Looking back on their previous releases (the first of which, Cobblestones, “was recorded into a cheap USB microphone”), Communions’ lead singer, songwriter and guitarist Martin Rehof reflects:
“I think Pure Fabrication is a more realized work. It’s a more mature realization of all of the experiments we have made, an album that, in my view, incorporates all of our best sides from each previous release. But we weren’t approaching this record with any intention of making a radical aesthetic statement, to stand apart from the rest of our peers, or to prove anything to ourselves. I think that Pure Fabrication might be the most genuine thing we have made.”
Reverse Coming of Age
Following the journey of a fictional protagonist, Pure Fabrication opens on the themes of liberation, independence, freedom, transformation—the ingredients of a coming of age story—and the character’s pursuit of them. Yet, “as the album progresses, strong ironic overtones in whatever praise of freedom was besung are slowly unveiled. While the opening songs represent a character with an—perhaps naive—assertiveness and unwillingness to be restrained or suppressed by the ways of the world, by the end of the record, the protagonist questions the entire notion of desire and freedom."
Pure Fabrication draws upon the Rehof brothers’ personal experience as much as it does from a collage of myths. The Danish brothers spent over a decade of their childhood and early teens in Seattle, only to move back to Copenhagen in the midst of their formative years. While Pure Fabrication is partly a bid at finding their place and self-understanding through the lens of stories and myths—a keen listener can spot traces of Goethe’s Faust, Shakespear’s Lear, Homer’s Sirens, and the Norse fate-holding Norns—at its core, it is something more: a meta-narrative on the human condition.
“Pure Fabrication can be understood positively, hinting at the fact that our lives are fabrications that we weave on the basis of desire and freedom. Or, more negatively, it can be taken to mean that the stories we fabricate around ourselves and use to understand our lives are in themselves only mere fabrications—myths or worn out templates that we constantly reproduce, and which perhaps ultimately conceal the powers of whatever is actually pulling the strings, whether that be other people, an underlying culture, or some metaphysical goddess in the sky. The lyrics function as kaleidoscopic mixes of different myths woven together.”
The 15 track, hour-long album embraces creative production techniques, all without venturing too far towards the infamous harshness of their Mayhem milieu. On some songs “the guitar was recorded through a vocoder. When recording, we were open to the gifts of chance that occurred in the moment. For instance, when recording ‘Here And Now’, our producer’s son was in the studio and randomly started counting to 10 in the microphone. We ended up keeping it on the record."
Fate, freedom, culture, love and identity are on trial in Pure Fabrication, as Communions question themselves and their world on this masterful sophomore album.