Posts Tagged ‘Norway’

Orions Belte (Photo Credit: Julia Marie Naglestad)

Is it blues? Is it world music? Is it underground pop? You can choose whichever you want, it’s not important for Orions Belte to be pigeonholed. They’re playing instrumental music inspired by Nigerian 70’s rock, postcards from the French Riviera, Formula One races at the Monza track in Italy, Eclectic and unique – are you able to “hear” how it sounds? . Sitting somewhere between gloriously Scandinavian psychedelia and long lost Nigerian fuzz rock from the 70s, the band’s crate-digging tendencies is matching to some stellar songcraft.

Led by Øyvind Blomstrøm and Chris Holm, the band’s debut album ‘Mint’ occupies a world of its own, heavy-duty instrumental fare that effortlessly breaks new boundaries.

‘Atlantic Surfing’ is a dazzling piece of guitar music, all sharp corners, unexpected reverses, and curious effects.

The animated video is engrossing as well, using illustrations design by Steph Hope. Lurid colours with a DIY feel, ‘Atlantic Surfing’ seems to encapsulate Orions Belte in one three minute chunk.

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The follow-up to Jenny Hval’s acclaimed 2016 album Blood Bitch is The Long Sleep, an adventurous new EP that sees the Norwegian multidisciplinary artist embracing an instinctive, even subconscious, approach to creating meaning. In contrast to Hval’s more explicitly conceptual work, The Long Sleep foregrounds the act of composition itself, letting the melodies and structures reveal the other elements of the songs. All of the songs on the EP recycle the same compositional motives, but manipulate them into very different shapes that take them further and further out of their original, “life-like” context.

Hval recorded The Long Sleep with longtime collaborator Håvard Volden and producer Lasse Marhaug, along with an ace new supporting cast of talented players from the jazz world — Kyrre Laastad on percussion, Anja Lauvdal on piano, Espen Reinertsen on saxophone, and Eivind Lønning on trumpet. Hval calls them some of her favorite contemporary musicians, and their musical background helps to give the songs on The Long Sleep their intuitive, improvised feel.

Releases May 25th, 2018

The follow-up to Jenny Hval’s acclaimed 2016 album Blood Bitch is The Long Sleep, an adventurous new EP that sees the Norwegian multidisciplinary artist embracing an instinctive, even subconscious, approach to creating meaning. In contrast to Hval’s more explicitly conceptual work, The Long Sleep foregrounds the act of composition itself, letting the melodies and structures reveal the other elements of the songs. All of the songs on the EP recycle the same compositional motives, but manipulate them into very different shapes that take them further and further out of their original, “life-like” context.

Hval recorded The Long Sleep with longtime collaborator Håvard Volden and producer Lasse Marhaug, along with an ace new supporting cast of talented players from the jazz world — Kyrre Laastad on percussion, Anja Lauvdal on piano, Espen Reinertsen on saxophone, and Eivind Lønning on trumpet. Hval calls them some of her favorite contemporary musicians, and their musical background helps to give the songs on The Long Sleep their intuitive, improvised feel.

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The Other End release the new single ‘Far From Home‘. The hypnotic and haunting melody hooked me after the first listen. The single comes off their EP which is set to be released on vinyl in March. The duo from Norway describe themselves as indie slow core, and come from the same pond that brought us artists like Aurora and Sigrid. While you can catch the indie act gigging around Bergen, I see their new EP bringing them to new places.

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Slotface sit in the middle of the street

From performing for inmates in a Norwegian jail chapel to hitting up the Art Rock festival stage straight from a hospital ward, Sløtface don’t do things by halves. Informed, intellectual, badass and upfront, the young band from Norway’s Stavanger have not only made waves thanks to their pop punk hooks and sharp, relatable lyrics, but also their steadfast belief that a band can do more than just make music.

That approach has already afforded them some rare experiences, like, as lead singer and songwriter Haley Shea puts it, their own version of Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison performance. “That was our reference point,” she says.

“We did a government-funded tour of these Norwegian high schools that have this cultural program and the inmates at this prison receive the same high school education, so obviously they have the rights to the same cultural exchange program. We played in their chapel in the prison to like 30 inmates who were between 18 and 60 years old. We had no idea what to expect, but it was really interesting. It was a really special experience.”

Intimate performances have been the group’s preferred gig of choice since they spent their formative years kicking around Stavanger, cutting their teeth as Slutface (before social media censorship prompted a slight name change). An obsession with classic high school movies meant it was a natural step for the band to smash out sets at parties whenever possible, and they came to love the tight confines of Norwegian living rooms.

But regardless where in the world they play, Shea is just happy if they reach like-minded people, bring them together and – most importantly – entertain them.

“Obviously it’s really fun to play big stages with, you know, thousands of people, but we still enjoy a really sweaty atmosphere, whether it’s at a tent at a festival or club, just because you’re closer to people and you can feel their energy levels.

“But then we did Sløtface karaoke,” she laughs, “as the closing slot at this big Norwegian festival where we were the band and the audience members came up and sang. We had like five or six people up onstage at all times and that felt like it was a giant house party – one with like 2,000 people.”

She pauses for a moment; reflects. “When we go to a show, we want to be entertained, have a really good time and make friends with other fans, so we hope that that’s what people get out of listening to our band and coming to our shows. We are kind of being inspired by each other, and by all of the cool things that young people all over the world are doing to make the world a better place.”

This month Shea, along with guitarist Tor-Arne Vikingstad, bassist Lasse Lokøy and drummer Halvard Skeie Wiencke, get to broaden their reach even further as they head to all corners of the globe, playing their first shows on our soil just before the release of their debut album Try Not To Freak Out.

The anticipation is high on both sides. “We’re really excited. It’s also the farthest away from home we’ve ever played; it’s like the exact opposite of the world from where we live.”

When it comes to their live show set-up, Shea and her bandmates embrace their punk sensibilities, and they like to use gigs as a chance to let loose. “We’ve always tried to lean as close towards a punk live show and a punk aesthetic as we can,” she says.

“People use their stage personas for different things, but they also provide a chance to release a lot of anger and frustration. That’s kind of what I use those stage performances for: to be like the gassiest, angriest version of myself; the person that I can’t really be in real life because I want people to like me too much. Onstage it doesn’t really matter if you piss a few people off.”

Try Not To Freak Out is a pure, undiluted expression of the band’s intentions, an album that melds the Scandinavian hard rock and metal scene’s trademark energy and intensity with the pop sensibility Sweden has been championing over the last few decades.

With each member bringing demos to jamming sessions, the group built the record from cherry-picked parts, trying a swathe of different directions before Shea began carving out the lyrics. Indeed, it’s their differing musical tastes that she attributes to the idiosyncrasies on the record, although at the end of the day, Freak Out takes the nostalgic, familiar hum of American high school movies and makes it the band’s own.

That’s not even to mention the lyrics, which seem more nuanced and referential than those that carried Empire Records, their 2016 EP. Lead single and feminist pop opener ‘Magazine’ makes clear Shea’s intentions as a songwriter from the very outset.

“Patti Smith would never put up with this shit,” she snarls, the song going on to challenge the patriarchy while both addressing and rubbishing societal pressures. There is a reason, after all, Shea has been called the heir apparent to musicians like Kathleen Hanna and PIL-era Johnny Rotten.

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There are times when the record slows – when Shea takes the time to address her intense, often anxious thought patterns, as on mid-record stand out ‘Night Guilt’.

Part of the reason that Shea can talk about anxiety so honestly is that she still finds herself hounded by it. Some might think that success and acclaim have a calming effect on shattered nerves, but often the opposite is the case, and Shea still has to fight hard to conquer her negative thought spirals.

“Some days it’s really, really tough,” she says. “When you work really hard on something, you want it to be the best that it can be, and you get that sort of fear about not quite meeting expectations that you have for yourself.

“So there were days when I was really struggling with anxiety and then had to sing a song about anxiety. That was a little bit tough.”

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Photo published for Nieuwe single Electric Eye – “Turn Around, Face The Sun”

Electric Eye play droned out psych-rock inspired by the blues, India and the ever more expanding universe. On the bands inspirational mix tape, you will probably find songs from the The Black Angels, Wooden Shjips and Pink Floyd in Pompeii. With members from some of Bergen’s foremost underground bands, a couple of spectacular songs and live shows, the buzz about Electric Eye swiftly spread from Norway to music fans world wide. Electric Eye released their debut-LP “Pick-up, Lift-off, Space, Time” in April. The album received rave reviews in the Norwegian music press, and has over the last few months spread to blogs and radio stations all over the world. The album was a co-release between Norway’s Klangkollektivet and London based Fuzz Club Records, who put out “Pick-up, Lift-off, Space, Time” in both the UK and US. After the release Electric Eye have toured Scandinavia and the EU, appeared at several Psych Fests across the continent. They performed at the Iceland Airwaves Festival, Eurosonic Noordenslag

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It’s been a while since we last heard from Susanne Sundfør, but the Norwegian indie folk artist returns to positively sweep us off our feet with her latest single, “Good Luck Bad Luck.” Featured on her recent fifth album, the critically acclaimed Music for People in Trouble, it’s a theatrical threnody to a doomed relationship as performed over piano, double bass and baritone saxophone, all of which return for the song’s smoky, late-night jazz coda.

Good Luck Bad Luck by Susanne Sundfør taken from her new album Music For People In Trouble,

The official video for ‘Accelerate’ taken from Susanne’s recent album ‘Ten Love Songs’, directed by renowned Norwegian director Stian Anderson. Listen to ‘Ten Love Songs’ in full here: https://susannesundfor.lnk.to/tenlove…

On ‘Ten Love Songs’ Sundfør bares all with epic results, and has arguably made her most compelling and fully realised work to date. She skilfully draws on the musical assistance both of new friends and old including Anthony Gonzalez of M83, Svein and Torbjorn from Röyksopp, her long-term collaborator Lars Horntveth of Jaga Jazzist, and the Trondheimsolistene Chamber Ensemble.
I also worked with the amazing Steven Hoggett on this video, who is a choreographer. It was an intense and fun experience to really go into depth on how you can make your body convey a mood or message.
I wanted to work with Stian Andersen because he has a great eye for the kind of video I wanted to make. I wanted it to be a live performance, and I wanted it to be raw and aggressive. I’m so happy with the video, and I’m so grateful that I’ve gotten to work with such a talent…

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Sløtface are a quartet consisting of vocalist Haley Shea, guitarist Tor-Arne Vikingstad, drummer Halvard Skeie Wiencke and bassist Lasse LokøySløtface sound is short, sharp blasts of pop-punk; rapid drum beats fused with chiming guitars. We’re instantly taken back to the early-noughties, indie nightcluubs where Rilo Kiley and We Are Scientists filled the floors. Sløtface formed back in 2012, and despite limited releases have slowly developed a reputation as a hardworking, hard touring band. They released their debut EP, We’re Just Ok, back in 2014, and have recently released the follow-up, Empire Records, through Norwegian label, Propeller Recordings. Their debut album should be due out in 2017.

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Sløtface are from the Norwegian city of Stavanger. Along with the neighbouring city of Sandnes, Stavanger forms a conurbation of over 210,000 making it Norway’s third largest urban area, or as they’re known in Norway, tettsed, literally meaning dense place. One of Norway’s oldest cities,

When it comes to their live show set-up, Shea and her bandmates embrace their punk sensibilities, and they like to use gigs as a chance to let loose. “We’ve always tried to lean as close towards a punk live show and a punk aesthetic as we can,” she says. With each member bringing demos to jamming sessions, the group built the record from cherry-picked parts, trying a swathe of different directions before Shea began carving out the lyrics. Indeed, it’s their differing musical tastes that she attributes to the idiosyncrasies on the record, although at the end of the day, Freak Out takes the nostalgic, familiar hum of American high school movies and makes it the band’s own.

Sløtface’s debut album Try Not To Freak Out is available now on vinyl, CD and digital formats via Caroline Australia, Nancy Drew is the Second single from Sløtface’s debut album ‘Try Not To Freak Out’. Available order now at: http://www.slotface.no

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Like A Version is a segment on Australian radio station triple j. Every Friday morning a musician or band comes into the studio to play one of their own songs and a cover of a song they love.

Norway’s Sløtface have been kicking goals all over the place lately. Fresh from performing a number of killer gigs on their debut tour, the group found time to drop into triple j’s studios to deliver an absolutely awesome cover of Lorde’s ‘Supercut’. Ducking into the triple j studios to help promote their debut record, Try Not To Freak Out, which is released next week, the Norwegians first delivered a blistering run-through of their track ‘Magazine’, before turning their attention to our Kiwi neighbours.

Stripping away the rippling synths, and layered vocals of Lorde’s original, Sløtface’s Haley Shea delivers the track’s lyrics with pure pop-punk conviction, while the rest of the group dutifully re-imagine the track with some typically brilliant punk-rock instrumental.

 

Of course, this isn’t the first time that Like A Version has delivered the goods this year, with Maggie Rogers recently giving us a sublime performance of The xx’s ‘Say Something Loving’, while Something For Kate’s Paul Dempsey dropped into the studios back in May for an astonishing cover of Middle Kids’ ‘Edge Of Town’.

Make sure you catch Sløtface soon while they were in the country, the group’s debut record, Try Not To Freak Out, is set for release on Friday, September 15th. So be sure to grab a copy and support some brilliant musicians doing what they love.

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Siv Jakobsen was born and raised in Asker, Norway, and educated at the esteemed Berklee College of Music in Boston, is showing off her new visuals for tender ballad “How We Used To Love”.

Fans of Alice Boman or similar Nordic timbres will surely be enamoured by this offering. Utilising oft-ignored music pillars like dynamics, silence and space, Jakobsen tears your ribcage open to pluck out your still-beating heart; you’ll be left stunned and haunted by these arrangements, but somehow, Jakobsen makes you believe that everything will all be okay anyway. Her lo-fi guitars and trembling piano riffs melt into gorgeous vocals, and when congealed together, the music is ruthlessly emotive to the point it should come with a warning label.

Apparently, the track’s conception was rather a dramatic one: “it came to be when Siv, whilst stuck in San Francisco traffic, She drove into the car in front of her in an absent minded moment. This inspired the first couple of lines in the song and became a monologue she’d never dared say out loud.”

For the video, we see Siv Jakobsen listlessly wandering the streets and footpaths of (presumably) Norway, and visiting various locations of unknown significance. It’s mysterious, but achingly beautiful, and many kudos should be given to the team behind it, Siv Jakobsen herself, and (probably) Norway for being so goddamn pretty in the first place.

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Siv’s first single off of the upcoming EP “The Lingering,” came out May 2015


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