Søren Lorensen is the new project from Matt Hales (Aqualung) and Davide Rossi (Goldfrapp), and ‘Time Machine’ is the first taste of a special collaborative project they’ve been slowly working on for the past five years. Ushered in by a gentle, lulling piano ‘Time Machine’ is a unique piece of work; thanks largely to Hale’s fragile voice and Rossi’s emotive strings, they have crafted genre-bending, intriguing and gracefully catchy orchestrated bedroom-pop. ‘Time Machine’ is an uncommonly captivating single that gets better with every spin.
There are many reasons people end up in bands together: friendship, musical similarities, a shared acquaintance or simply the desire to find anyone that can play drums. Rarely is knitwear an instigating factor however. “I really liked the jumper he was wearing that his mum had made him,” says Matt Hales, who also performs as Aqualung and has written and produced songs for countless artists from Lianne La Havas to Paloma Faith. He’s speaking about the day he was introduced to Davide Rossi, a string arranger and composer who was in Goldfrapp for 13 years and has worked with the likes of Coldplay and the Verve.
Rossi sent over a library of string loops to Hales, cast-offs and unused parts that he had assembled, and Hales was immediately drawn in by both the tone and quality. “It was instantaneously gripping,” he says. “They were all exquisitely made and beautiful sounding – normally you don’t get access to that kind of quality work without really paying for it or it being a massive undertaking. Every single little snippet was so evocative.”
Much like the music itself, the band’s name is something that has spawned into its own story and identity. After initially imagining this music to resemble the output of a solitary Icelandic man, they began to throw around names to match this image. Hales’ kids had been watching the TV show Charlie and Lola in which Lola’s best friend is an imaginary person called Soren Lorenson. The name struck as both fittingly Icelandic but also captured the unique and almost mysterious element to the record being made in another world. After permission was gained from creator Lauren Child, she even agreed to illustrate the album artwork.