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Meet Panamah, the xx of Denmark, and Hear Late-Night Bummer ‘Born Af Natten’


Last week Denmark was pulsing to the cavernous electronic pop of Panamah, a young trio whose third single “Børn Af Natten” quite deservingly landed at No. 1 on the Danish charts. If it sounds strikingly familiar, that’s probably because the template is almost identical to the one used to such great effect by chilly British indie-electronic band the xx. Even fans of the xx would have to concede that there’s a strict formula in play in their music — sparse percussion, simple chord progressions implied more than stated, and most importantly the hypersexual whispered interplay between dueling vocalists.

“Børn Af Natten” proceeds along at a tempo that’s just a hair too fast for the xx, and this has the effect of tempering the depressing sinking feeling that emerges from the spaces between the beats. It also doesn’t hurt that singer Amalie Stender fills them up with haunting coos that always emerge dominant even when her male companions double her lyrics with their backing vocals. The xx may be sexually charged, but they’re certainly pessimistic about it all, so much so that at times it seems like they barely even bothered to show up to sing. Here, Panamah at least seems to want to leave you with the lingering memory of an entertaining night out — perhaps one where you got the phone number, even if you’re going home alone.