To remain an outsider artist when the "inside" is as big as the next person's Twitter feed takes a special kind of work. Or maybe it doesn't--maybe the only way to subvert a world that's bigger than you can imagine is simply not to try. Claus Frøhlich--Danish pig farmer, anthropologist, and freak-folk multi-instrumentalist--makes his own universe sound as humble and effortless as if it were made without thought to that thing called the internet.
Like his outer-orbit lo-fi forefathers--Daniel Johnston, the Residents, early Elephant 6 collective--Frøhlich produces songs at a compulsive rate. Under the moniker Younolovebunny (owed equally to the video game of the same title and the siren call of Thai hookers), Frøhlich has churned out more than 700 songs since he first started laying tape. One of his albums, which he all releases secretly, to friends, or to no one, boasts a track list of 200 songs. When his friends in Denmark ask him for his latest album, he'll usually record a new one just for them. It's easier, he says, and it keeps him moving forward.
The songs off Happy Nation II, Younolovebunny's new cassette and his first release available to those outside his immediate circle, range from thrashy basement punk to psychedelic sprawls to humble, heartfelt folk. "Whip It," which sounds as little like Devo as you can imagine, adopts the latter mode. A winding bassline and jittery acoustic strum carry the song while Frøhlich harmonizes with a ghostlike copy of himself. "You know we're slaves to feelings," he crackles. Half love song and half lament, "Whip It" opens a window into the emotional core of the project. Beneath all the deceptively alienating brambles lies a real and powerful desire to connect.
Younolovebunny might be manic as hell, but that's not the point. Like others before him who have trudged through tape-hiss cyclones and found-noise volcanoes, Frøhlich makes you hunger for the warm, raw feeling among the chaos. "Whip It" is the perfect eye to this fevered storm.
Happy Nation II will be released January 1, 2013 on Almost-Musique.