Ordinarily, you do not associate adjectives such as visual, colorful, and physical with music. Or, at least, not initially. But the women of Berlin pop group Laing are as much a visual performance as they are a musical group for your ears. The group’s videos are humorous, tongue-in-cheek, and carefully crafted. Their music, meanwhile, is just as thoughtfully created with a light and easygoing feel but it is no laughing matter! So this month let’s learning German with the music of pop group Laing!
Get to Know Laing
Laing was founded in 2007 by Nicola Rost, Johanna Marschall, Susanna Berivan, and Marisa Akeny. The group uses the surname of Rost’s mother as their band name. After a few line-up changes, Laing is currently lyricist and composer Rost, singers Josefine Werner and Marschall, dancer and choreographer Akeny, and drummer Milian Vogel.
Laing came onto my radar after they opened for rappers KIZ during their annual International Women’s Day concert. From the outside, the pairing is not the most obvious. Some may be familiar with them from the 2012 Bundesvision Song Contest when their track for Saxony, “Morgens immer müde,” won second place. As a result, it earned the group spots on the German and Austrian music charts. The group later took part in Unser Song für Österreich, making it to the final four in the competition.
There are no rough edges on Laing’s music. Their music is almost as if you took the electropop of Kraftwerk, gave it a modern twist, and then a soulful spirit. The group’s smooth vocals and gentle melodies combine while still avoiding that cookie-cutter girl group aesthetic and sound.
Similarly, the group’s performances and music videos are just as carefully constructed. Full of bold, colorful visuals, tightly choreographed dance routines, and a clearcut message.
To date, the group has three albums under their collective belt: 2013’s Paradies Naiv, 2014’s Wechselt die Beleuchtung, and 2018’s Fotogena. Add to that three EPs early in their history and roughly a dozen singles to create quite a repertoire.
But the group’s music is not gratuitous or simply “pop” (whatever that means to you, personally). Among the ear-catching tracks on Fotogena, the band’s most recent release, is “Organspende,” an ode encouraging organ donations.
From the point of view of someone trying to learn or practice the German language with music Laing is an ideal match. The group’s vocals are clear and the lyrics easy to follow. Give them a listen and hear for yourself!
Looking for another Ohrwurm to help you learn German? Check out previously featured musicians and bands!
Photo by Ben Wolf, courtesy Universal Music Deutschland. This post contains affiliate links.