Posts Tagged ‘Norway’

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.


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.


“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.


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 

released March 8th, 2019

Norwegian pop star Aurora Aksnes, or just AURORA, has an unusual fearlessness. The story is that, as a child, Aksnes discovered an electric piano in the attic of her family’s home in Os, near Bergen. She started writing songs with a narrative orientation, Leonard Cohen a hero. After a school performance, Aksnes‘ friends shared Puppet online, leading Aksnes to court management deals. The singer-songwriter developed an individualistic, atmospheric and romantic electro-folk sound, attracting a fandom she calls her “warriors”. Aksnes broke out with Runaway. In 2016, she presented a debut album, All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend. Aksnes captivated critics by inverting Nick Cave with Murder Song (5, 4, 3, 2, 1), like a gothic Robyn cosplaying Arya Stark. Ironically, she enjoyed a UK hit with a cover of Oasis’ Half The World Away, cut for a department store Christmas ad.

Yet Aksnes has remained instinctively independent. She self-produces, demoing at home, or liaises with trusted studio cohorts. “I feel like the more people are involved in my art, the worse it gets,” Aksnes ponders. “I’m quite kooky in the way I write my own music, because I feel like I have everything inside of me already and that I don’t need anyone to get anything out… I scare people away sometimes, from coming with ideas, ’cause I’m so clear in my own vision.”

Last September, Aksnes dropped a surprise album, Infections Of A Different Kind (Step 1) – the first of two parts. The title song, about having faith amid global volatility and existentialist angst, was pivotal. Aksnes had been “feeling quite tired” and “uninspirational” following a hectic 2016. “I remember I didn’t really have any idea of what to do next – which is very strange for me, because I always know what to do next.”

Aksnes, 22, has long admitted to being “shy”, but she loves to talk. “You learn how to interact with people ’cause you have to meet, like, a million people a year.”

it was the lead single, Queendom, which generated buzz. Aksnes described Queendom as a bop inclusive of the “introverts”. But, more a song of fire than ice, Queendom is an empowering anthem, too. “I got a lot of amazing feedback,”.

Queendom is about celebrating all the differences in us. It’s about celebrating the women and the children and animals and the men also. The quiet ones and the introverts, where they can sing and be seen. It’s about the shy people and the lonely people and I hope it can be a place where we can come and be lonely together and then not be lonely anymore.

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The Other End have been labeled «… one of the most exciting new bands from Scandinavia», and got international praise for their cutting edge sound and exploration of slowcore and dark indie pop when entering the music scene in Norway in 2018.

The release of their 5-track debut-EP saw them being signed by Just Isn’t Music (Ninja Tune) and earned them a spot at ØYA 2018. Super World Indie Tunes hailed the EP as . one of the finest records you’ll hear this year». The EP was recorded live in studio together with renowned producer Iver Sandøy (Enslaved, Wardruna).

Ida Knoph-Solholm and Alexander Breidvik make music for 4 a.m. drives and headphones worn surreptitiously under blankets. But really, there’s no bad setting for music this spare, haunting and gorgeous. The central ingredients in “Far From Home” couldn’t be simpler: Knopf-Solholm sets her huge, radiant voice against crystalline guitar lines that hang heavy in the air. Though other instruments make their way into the mix, there’s not a superfluous sound to be found.

Vocals, bass guitar: Ida Knoph-Solholm Guitar, bass drum, backing vocals: Alexander Breidvik

Debut EP out March 16th 2018!

Girl in Red

Oslo, Norway-based bedroom pop artist Marie Ulven has been releasing music as Girl in Red since 2016. Her intimate songs intertwine sweetness and melancholy with a fuzzy nostalgic aesthetic. The most resonant of them address her sexuality as a young queer person with endearing directness; “Girls” is the kind of song I wish was around when I was in high school, while both “We Fell in Love in October” and its video are soaked in the pangs of adolescent love.

Girl in Red just released a new single, “Watch You Sleep,” which you can listen , along with some of her other songs. She’s hitting the road on tour in May, mostly in Europe,

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.