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Serena Maneesh

Who? Emil Nikolaisen, (guitar and vocals), his sisters, Elvira (vocals) and Hilma (bass), Sufjan Stevens (flute and marimba), Lina Holstram (vocals), Elvind Schou (violin), Sondre Tristan Midttun (guitar), and Tommy Akerholdt (drums) — Serena Maneesh is not one person.

What’s the Deal? Nikolaison, the leader and creative push behind Serena Maneesh, commandeers the talents of friends and family to create complex, mystical songs by layering distorted guitars with silky vocals, menacing drum beats, and the distant chimes of a marimba. Recorded and mixed by Martin Bisi, the man who also helped Swans and Sonic Youth, Serena Maneesh pile on musical paradoxes with a fury reminiscent of Blonde Redhead on their self-titled debut album.

Fun Fact: After touring with the Dandy Warhols across Europe in 2005, the band was welcomed home with a nomination for Norway’s version of a Grammy: the Spellemannsprisen. KRISTINA GRINOVICH

Now Watch This: Serena Maneesh – “Drain Cosmetics” QUICKTIME HI | LO

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