Posts Tagged ‘We Wither’

One of Americana’s biggest head-turners in 2020 hails from Norway. The Northern Belle became a blip on the Americana radar this year with “We Wither, We Bloom”. Navigating rocking, high-octane arrangements with soaring crescendos and crisp, tasty guitar tones and harmonies, the septet have often drawn comparison to 1970s-era Fleetwood Mac and others that fall within the “desert rock” aesthetic. The band ultimately creates an atmosphere all their own thanks to the efforts of powerhouse frontwoman Stine Andreassen acting as the soulful staple to their sound. Expressive, ebullient, and instantly impressionable, We Wither, We Bloom is one slick production that tastefully elevates Americana further onto the pop stage.

With their affection for words and the pure heartache in old country music, The Northern Belle have captured the attention of Oslo’s folk/country-scene. They mix traditional country with pop and Norwegian folk music, resulting in a unique musical output. The singer is a true storyteller and the instruments, especially the Hardanger fiddle and the steel guitar, enhance the melodies and tales. 

Written as an examination of personal relationships, the new album by The Northern Belle is aptly titled We Wither, We Bloom. The Norwegian septet is among the pioneers of the nordicana scene that has been gaining momentum in the US the last few years. Fronted by prolific singer-songwriter Stine Andreassen (also of folk quartet Silver Lining) and armed with pedal steel, slide guitar, lush harmonies, a string quartet and their secret weapon, the Norwegian Hardanger fiddle, The Northern Belle have developed their own unique brew of pop-oriented americana and folk music. Imagine Fleetwood Mac fronted by Jenny Lewis in a country mood.

Brimming with melodic tunes and clever lyrics, We Wither We Bloom is the band’s third studio album, albeit the first to be released internationally. Having made the difficult decision to quit her day job to pursue music, Andreassen and The Northern Belle received widespread praise and a Spellemann nomination (Norwegian Grammy) for the 2018 album
Blinding Blue Neon. In the spring of 2019, Andreassen traveled to Nashville for three months to write the follow-up. The welcoming and thriving music scene found east of the Cumberland River sparked a creative songwriting spell that resulted in this inspired collection of tracks. The distance from home allowed for new views on friends, family, love, loss and homesickness, resulting in the band’s most personal album to date.

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The songs vary in tempo and style, from the melodic rocker “Gemini” to the string-laden “Born to Be a Mother”. “Remember It” is a fiery tell-off to a horrible ex (“I wanna hurt you and remember it”), “Tailor Made” is a tribute to the band’s Nudie suit-wearing heroes of the past, while “Late Bloomer” in a way sums up the album title – a song about taking time before daring to pursue music.

“I’ve struggled with the feeling of not being good enough, being labelled because I’m a woman and that I should have had kids already and that the clock is ticking. I’ve destroyed friendships and made new ones, but I’m left with feeling stronger than before because I’ve confronted the things that hurt in my songs,” says Andreassen, who has written the bulk of the album with a few contributions from local Nashville songwriters.

Constantly evolving as a band, The Northern Belle’s sound in 2020 is inspired by contemporary acts such as Erin Rae, Kacey Musgraves, Phoebe Bridgers and Marit Larsen, as well as legends such The Beach Boys, The Byrds and Glen Campbell. All resulting in a record that pays tribute to its inspirations while also showing true originality.
 
 
Released August 28th, 2020