Posts Tagged ‘Norway’

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Tora is a blues inspired pop/rock band fronted by Norway’s new female guitar hero Tora Dahle Aagård, who has earned herself widespread recognition and popularity due to her playful virtuosity, raw energy and unique stage presence. Her popular Instagram account is followed by over 120.000 fans from all over the world.

Tora’s first full album “Tora” was released in February 2019 and was defined as “a promising debut by a new female guitar hero” by the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet. Their next album will be released this autumn and features exciting new collaborations with acclaimed musicians such as guitarist Joey Landreth and drummer Aaron Sterling (John Mayer). The album’s first single was Desire, followed by the catchy Money released in March. The next single, “Lately”, will be released 15th May.

In October 2018, Tora made history by becoming the first female guitarist ever to sign an endorsement deal with the British guitar company Chapman Guitars.

2019 was an eventful year for Tora Dahle Aagård. She has played with the likes of Paul Gilbert (Mr Big) and Jennifer Batten (Michael Jackson), as well as Aaron Sterling (John Mayer). In addition to playing gigs at numerous renowned Norwegian festivals and venues, Tora performed in London’s Royal Albert Hall on 10th November 2019, as part of The Norwegian Blues Adventure, a concert featuring Norway’s leading blues musicians, joining forces to show the best of what the Norwegian blues movement has on offer.

Tora is set for yet another eventful year, including the release of their new album, followed by a UK tour. Other highlights include performing at Molde International Jazz Festival, one of the oldest and most prestigious music festivals in Norway.

Tora was formed in 2011. Their discography so far includes 2 EPs – of which their second release, Change of Scenery (2016), reached the top of iTunes’ album charts. Several of their tracks are frequently played on Norwegian radio stations.

The band consists of Tora Dahle Aagård (guitar and lead vocals), Isak Seltveit (bass guitar), Guri Tranås (backing vocals), Andreas Dahle Aagård (guitar) and Magnus Galguften (drums).

The songs are written by Tora herself, some in collaboration with Andreas Dahle Aagård.

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The Hold Steady were on a roll before quarantine, with a great new album and their sporadic weekend runs that are also always great, and since quarantine started, they’ve been releasing recordings from those weekend runs on Bandcamp and donating a portion of the proceeds to the venues they were recorded at. It’s a very cool thing they’re doing, and it reminds you how great of a live band The Hold Steady still are, but for today’s live video roundup we’re going back in time to when The Hold Steady were supporting “Boys and Girls in America”.

The Hold Steady are a band you really need to see live — they and frontman Craig Finn especially display a great deal of showmanship — and this pro-shot video really makes it feel like you’re right there with them, rocking out with all the enthusiastic fans in the crowd.

show from the Hovefestival in Norway June 26th 2007.

01 – Stuck Between Stations 0:59, 
02 – The Swish –
04:50,
04 – Chips Ahoy!
09:03,
05 – Hot Soft Light
12:22,
06 – Cattle And The Creeping Things
16:25,
07 – Massive Nights –
20:14,
08 – Party Pit –
22:55,
09 – You Can Make Him Like You
26:51,
10 – Multitude of casualties
30:39,
11 – Stevie Nix –
34:03,
12 – Same Kooks –
39:10,
13 – Hornets! Hornets! –
42:12,
14 – Your Little Hoodrat Friend
46:50,
15 – Southtown Girls –
51:28,
16 – Killer Parties –
56:20,

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Nordic mellow: those two words perfectly describe the music of Oslo-based indie folk artist Siv Jakobsen. It’s apropos, since that is also the title of her 2017 debut LP. Somehow this talented singer with celestial vocals has not found global stardom yet. Perhaps the release of her next album – the aptly titled A Temporary Soothing – will help the world realize what they’ve been missing. Siv’s music is beautifully mellow, much like diary-entries – filled with unfiltered thoughts and reflections. With references to Damien Rice and Ane Brun, listening to her music is like being a fly on the wall while she sings you her secrets.

If “Fight or Flight” is your introduction to Jakobsen, you are in for a treat. She just shared this single a few days ago. The melody greets your ears with fireside warmth while her crystalline voice caresses you. Every note provides comfort. Every layer complements the rest. There is a peaceful calm to her overall style that is on par with Daughter and Ane Brun. But the beauty of Jakobsen’s sound is its sun-kissed elegance. “Fight or Flight” has a early springtime quality, imbued with the hope of better things to come while still feeling the coolness of winter. This is the perfect song for these times: a tonic for our souls. 

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Siv Jakobsen should be on your radar. You simply do not encounter a voice this pure every day. A Temporary Soothing from Bandcamp is available on April 24th.

 

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“How Do You Smile?” from Closing Eyes. The track is a psych-friendly gem with a deeply grooving bass line, buzzing restrained guitars, and enjoyably dazed vocals. In the final couple minutes especially, a sprawled-out guitar tone coexists alongside the hypnotic rhythm section, as lush vocals complement; it all makes for a wholly consuming conclusion to this stellar track.

The Norwegian act is releasing their new album Eternal Fidelity on May 8th, and I’ll certainly be looking forward to it. Band member Eirik elaborates more on the album below:
“Sometimes I try very hard to hold on to something but it just feels like it’s slipping through my fingers. Ideals, dreams, identities or friendships are all things that live so strongly and easily when we’re young but often seem to lose footing as we grow older. Convictions that seem so solid can suddenly dissolve and become unresolved issues. I don’t think we’re too good at dealing with that. Mostly, Eternal Fidelity is about those feeling. It’s about trying to hold on, let go and make sense of it all. It’s about clinging to what’s important even though it might not be easy all the time.”

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Band Members
 Eirik Asker Pettersen,
Magnus Asker Pettersen,
Emilie Lium Vordal, 
Anders Emil Rønning,
Jørgen Bjella, 

At first listen, “The Practice of Love”, Jenny Hval’s seventh full-length album, unspools with an almost deceptive ease. Across the eight tracks, filled with arpeggiated synth washes and the kind of lilting beats that might have drifted, loose and unmoored, from some forgotten mid-’90s trance single, The Practice of Love feels, first and foremost, compellingly humane. Given the horror and viscera of her previous album, 2016’s Blood Bitch, The Practice of Love is almost subversive in its gentleness—a deep dive into what it means to grow older, to question one’s relationship to the earth and one’s self, and to hold a magnifying glass over the notion of what intimacy can mean.

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As Hval describes it, the album charts its own particular geography, a landscape in which multiple voices engage and disperse, and the question of connectedness—or lack thereof—hangs suspended in the architecture of every song. It is,an album about “seeing things from above—almost like looking straight down into the ground, all of these vibrant forest landscapes, the type of nature where you might find a porn magazine at a certain place in the woods and everyone would know where it was, but even that would just become rotting paper, eventually melting into the ground.”

“Look at these trees/ Look at this grass/ Look at those clouds … Study this/ And ask yourself/ Where is God?” Leave it to Jenny Hval to open an album with words that could’ve been lifted from a self-help mindfulness exercise and turn them into an existential reckoning. The Practice Of Love grapples with all kinds of questions, as any of Hval’s work does. But at the same time as Hval remains thought-provoking, she’s now housed these meditations in futuristic pop songs like “High Alice” and “Ashes To Ashes,” locating an accessibility and infectiousness we might not have ever expected from her. The Practice Of Love is a thing of shimmering beauty throughout, but perhaps this is its most moving takeaway: constant searching leading to new thoughts and new sounds, history and memory and life lived stoking yet another evolution.

From ‘The Practice of Love,’ out September. 13th, 2019. Sacred Bones Records

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New year, new Sløtface album—the political Norwegian punks are slated to dish out their second LP, “Sorry for the Late Reply”, at the end of January, which touches on everything from climate change to frontwoman Haley Shea’s expatriatism from her native U.S.

Today, the four-piece is sharing the fifth single from the album, an exhausted acknowledgement of the need for meaningless New Year’s resolutions. “Keep hoarding books I’ll never read, keep making plans I’ll never keep,” sighs Shea in a matter-of-fact tone recalling Sadie Dupuis, over a grungy take on pop-punk that would sound right at home on a Speedy Ortiz record.

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“This one is about all the promises we keep to ourselves, and all the good advice we give but never take,” she shares of the track. “I’m a master of thinking I can always be better, work harder, sleep less, do more, but maybe that’s not always possible. It’s about working on taking care of yourself and taking advice you would give to someone else.”

Band Members
Haley Shea – Vocals
Lasse Lokøy – Bass
Tor-Arne Vikingstad – Guitar

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The Norwegian duo recently released their debut album ‘Saints and Sebastian Stories’ to widespread acclaim,

Konradsen’s warm intimacy both strangely familiar but uniquely their own is one which will stay with you in the months and years to come…” Ending the year on a high, the project have shared the full video for heavenly song ‘Dice’.

Stripped from the recent album, it’s given fresh life in this visual rendering, the soft focus visuals having a raw yet also intimate quality. Steered by Teodora Georgijević, the clip is the perfect compliment to Konradsen’s soothingly addictive melodies.

Band Members:
Jenny Marie Sabel & Eirik Vildgren

Saints and Sebastian Stories

Upon relocating to Oslo for college, two longtime friends from Norway’s northern fringe discovered a powerful musical chemistry. As Konradsen, Jenny Marie Sabel and Eirik Vildgren deliver an artful new spin on tender coffeehouse indie, infusing it with flashes of folk and post-rock and avant-R&B without wavering from their distinct voice. Their debut “Saints And Sebastian Stories” is spellbinding, like encountering an old friend in a dream and discovering they have superpowers.

Konradsen, the duo of vocalist and pianist Jenny Marie Sabel and multi-instrumentalist Eirik Vildgren, trace their roots to the far north of Norway, where the black night of winter is backlit by the neon glow of the Northern Lights. It’s a fitting metaphor for the music the pair crafts, where tradition meets innovation, and the natural world expresses its astral filament.

Inspired by the traditional songs and hymns Sabel sang with her family as a child, the duo’s debut album ‘Saints and Sebastian Stories’ weaves Sabel’s soulful and transportive vocals with field recordings and samples of ambient sounds, filtered through a modern pop filter. Voices of past and present dance over minimalist piano, atmospheric electronics, programmed beats and organic horns, forming a delicate sonic narrative centered on family and community that reflects the arc of their musical journey.

Taken from their debut LP ‘Saints and Sebastian Stories” – out October 25th, 2019, Cascine Records

Norwegian avant-garde musician Jenny Hval has announced a new album, “The Practice of Love”, and shared its first single, “Ashes to Ashes.” The Practice of Love is due out September 13 via Sacred Bones.

The album is the follow-up to her acclaimed 2016 album, Blood Bitch, and her 2018 EP, The Long Sleep. The album features guest vocalists Vivian Wang, Laura Jean Englert, and Félicia Atkinson. The title The Practice of Love was partially inspired by Valie Export’s 1985 film of the same name.

Hval had this to say about the album in a press release: “This all sounds very clichéd, like a standard greeting card expression. But for me, love, and the practice of love, has been deeply tied to the feeling of otherness. Love as a theme in art has been the domain of the canonized, big artists, and I have always seen myself as a minor character, a voice that speaks of other things. But in the last few years I have wanted to take a closer look at the practice of otherness, this fragile performance, and how it can express love, intimacy, empathy and desire. I have wanted to ask bigger, wider, kind of idiotic questions like: What is our job as a member of the human race? Do we have to accept this job, and if we don’t, does the pressure to be normal ever stop?”

From ‘The Practice of Love,’ out September. 13th, 2019.

Originating from the windswept, moody southwestern coast of Norway, I Was A King are living proof that the sweetest pop songs may be cultivated and thrive in the oddest places. The band is led by singers and guitarists Frode Strømstad and Anne Lise Frøkedal, whose united vocals are said to melt into one extraterrestrial voice.

Their new album “Slow Century” is the result of a close collaboration with producer Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub). A collection of instantly classic power pop tunes that have been written, recorded – even pressed on vinyl – in the picturesque town of Egersund. Describing the tension between thirsting for new adventures and the comfort of everyday small town life, the songs combine brisk energy with comforting nostalgia.

“I think they’re definitely informed by R.E.M. and Robyn Hitchcock. Robyn actually produced one of their earlier records, and they were Robyn’s backup band on-and-off for a while. So I think that’s how we all became aware of them. They’re based in Oslo and also a small town southwest of Norway called Egersund. The leader of the band, Frode Strømstad, he was barely around when [R.E.M. and the Dream Syndicate were] first put together. For him to be making records with Scott McCaughey [in the supergroup the No Ones] and Robyn produce his records.

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On its journey through musical landscapes of quality indie pop, I Was A King has evoked the 
enthusiasm of – and collaborated with the likes of – Robyn Hitchcock, Daniel Smith (Danielson) and Sufjan Stevens.
Their music has been widely acclaimed by critics in Norway, as well as in the US and UK. While perpetuating the legacy of icons like The Byrds, Big Star, Teenage Fanclub and The Beatles, 
they keep playing by their own rules on each release, combining music history with a modern 
perspective.

released March 8th, 2019