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To put it bluntly, Lust For Youth’s International is unrecognisable as a Lust For Youth record on first listen. Hannes Norrvide’s previous solo albums under the moniker have been described as ‘dark, cold, atonal, tormented, lonely and lower than lo-fi’. The approach on International has shifted dramatically. Writing as a three-piece now, with longtime live collaborator Loke Rahbek and new band member Malthe Fischer, who produces and plays guitar, LFY have entered a completely new territory. The result is stunning. International is a buoyant synth masterpiece in the vein of early Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys and New Order. Norrvide’s work has always had pop sensibilities buried deep in the reverb, but the hooks are front and centre on International, and there is nothing lo-fi about it.
That is not to say the record is without substance. There are still some deeply introspective moments as well, notably the instrumental passages Ultras and Basorexia, which evoke the morning-after loneliness that a lot of earlier LFY work has explored. According to Rahbek, ‘the record sort of happened by chance. Hannes and I had talked about recording some stuff together for the fun of it, and Malthe offered to help us record. Initially, we were just going to do a song or two for the fun of it, but within a few weeks it was obvious that it was a combination that worked. Malthe went from recording to joining within the first few days and we made the whole thing over the last half-year, drinking gin and tonics everyday in the studio. The period was strange, terrible things happened in everyone’s life outside of the studio, so as a result many hours were spent in the studio, like a safe zone.’
‘As the title indicates,’ Rahbek adds, ‘the record deals with the rootless, sometimes almost inhuman, nature of traveling and touring. Hotel rooms and strangers beds, drugs and clubs, and the impossibility of living a regular life.’ It may be an irregular life, but nothing could suit them better; International is Norrvide’s magnum opus, and with Fischer’s production and Rahbek’s co-writing skills, the potential this band has always shown has been fully realised.