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WPGM Recommends: A Mess – WOMAN (EP Review)

Danish one woman power engine A Mess has just released her brand new EP WOMAN. It is powerful, eclectic and energetic and most of all, a refined piece of alternative rock. The five-track counting collection of A Mess’s work was partly created in the name of equality and translates her name really rather well into her ‘messy’ yet infectious sound.

“F**k Your Way To The Top” doesn’t beat around the bush and sounds like a shot of caffeine injected straight into the ears. It is distorted, loud and a whirlwind of sound, a song in which all components come together thanks to the vocals of Dorte Hartmann.

She is no time waster and hits the raw and honest chords with for example the second song on the EP: “Blame Is A Dye”. Her sound is a recognisable and memorable one and something rather different from what’s hogging the charts nowadays.

Third single “Binging” is a slightly more generic sounding alternative rock track with vocals less pungent and an almost warm soundscape. Dorte’s way of creating these telling tales is by combining electric guitar with an arsenal of catchy hooks and infectious melodies!

“Binging” in particular will be a nice listen for fans of Pussy Riot and Snail Mail. What makes these honest songs stand out even more is the fact that there is humour involved, addressing genre norms and expectations of the modern woman, but doing it with a smile.

We continue with soft breather “Champagne”, an almost mellow alternative pop track with a dreamy soundscape and riffing, unexpected hooks. The power-pop track talks about a chosen life without kids and “whether a woman is a true woman without kids”.

About her works of art, Dorte says “I have missed a female perspective on the world I see and live in. We’ve had male voices in rock since the 1950s. Now I think it’s time to talk about the world with a female voice”.

The closer of WOMAN is a sound slap bang in the middle of “F**k Your Way To The Top” and “Champagne” and is the perfect summary of A Mess’s sound.

The single talks about why friendships sometimes end and translates into a bittersweet sounding punk rock song, “Aquarium” builds on a steady paced soundscape and hazy vocal harmonies, its repetitive and easy to remember chorus make this one of the songs on the EP that is still echoing in our head, and we don’t mind it!

It isn’t just her songs that have many meanings, even Dorte’s alias A Mess is pretty much a translation of her name, it means ‘et rod’ in Danish and is her name spelled in reverse. She lays her emotions bare and shares distinctive opinions in her songs.

My EP is a middle finger to the patriarchy. I believe that rock music is an important democratic tool that can help change the world and our way of perceiving it. Pop culture can help move people. Now the time has come for the female life to be on center stage and served with guitar riffs are tales we don’t usually hear. It is an EP in the name of equality sacrificed on the altar of rock music”.

Without sounding like she is either preaching or whining, A Mess brings a sound that is open and honest and slightly addictive.

It isn’t just the female vocals that make this a work of empowerment, it’s the way she translates her messages into purposeful lyrics and creates inescapable soundscapes filled with hooks, layer after layer and sounds that charmingly frame her vocals. We are looking forward to the day we’ll be able to experience these songs in a live setting!

Listen to her WOMAN EP below and stream it everywhere else here.

Words by Laura Rosierse

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