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Offliners - Stars and Mars (Frich Records)

28 May 2024

The fact that “Stars and Mars” is the coolest slice of Americana I have heard in a long time and that Offliners, the band behind it, are from Copenhagen rather than Nashville, Austin, or Memphis speaks volumes about the globalisation of music. And that can only be a good thing, right?

There is also something wonderfully classic about the sound they make, that drifting blend of folk and country, of roots and rock, that came together at its best in bands such as CSN&Y and later echoed in the sound of such stalwarts as Wilco and Band of Horses.

“Stars and Mars” balances robust folk rock with more cosmic vibes, country swagger with heavenly harmonies, and circular rock riffs with lilting loveliness. And if country music and the like spends much of its time with its feet on the ground, what is excellent about Offliners is that, here at least, they seem to have their head in the clouds.

The song gently reflects on the idea of colonising planets beyond our own, of the notion that at some point, we will find ourselves as a species outgrowing this one planet, the only one that, up until now, we could call home. It’s big stuff, indeed.

As a clever man once said, “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars,” metaphorically speaking, he could have been talking about Offliners.

Here’s another thought for you, Denmark is the new Dixie! Okay, that might be too far a stretch.