School of X’s Debut Album Has Landed
School of X’s Rasmus Littauer has been one of the busiest Danish musicians in recent years. Much of his past decade has been spent on the road with MØ, and in the time in between he has been unrelenting in introducing us to his own personal world with the EPs Faded. Dream. (2017) and Destiny (2019).
Littauer, however, is a dreamer, and his dreams are not confined to the stage or studio. “I’m sure that at some point I should become a sailor and sail around the world. I also imagine that I should experience having seven children, or living in Buenos Aires with a small bar serving coffee and beer.” Littauer was becoming anxious that, with no end in sight, his musical ambition was going to squander the prospect of his many dreams.
Enter Armlock. The title for the debut album came to him in a taxi, while sitting arm in arm with a friend in New York City, where the album was being mixed by Chris Tabron (Beyonce, The Strokes, Erykah Badu). His devotion to music, he realized, leaves no room for his dreams of sailing the world or owning a bohemian cafe in South America. He is trapped in an armlock, unable to pursue every dream. But at the same time - as he realized one late night in New York - his path has him locked arm in arm with the people that he loves.
This new-found and revelatory optimism is at the core of Armlock, the debut full-length from School of X. Littauer’s embrace of connection has manifested in a more collaborative work, including contributions from Soleima, Lord Siva, Trentemøller, Vera, Yangze, Ary, Rune Risager, Mauro Refosco and Spencer Zahn. And thematically, it is impossible to miss Littauer’s new mental resolve on songs like ‘Forgot Me On The Moon’, ‘Bad Love’ and ‘Blood Flow’.
“They’re definitely love songs, but a lot of the songs are about having moved on and being happy about it... becoming someone new and being happy.”
Though there are remnants of Faded. Dream.’s bombastic pop and Destiny’s tender melancholy, School of X has become someone new on Armlock, embracing heartache as part of what allows him to dance. One can never escape their past - it is an eternal armlock - yet the past is what brings us here, locked arm in arm with the ones we love.