We’re all ready for Reeperbahn this week. With 8 Norwegian bands playing the festival and some 30 Norwegian delegates heading to Hamburg everything is set for another great edition of the German showcase festival.
Jonas Vebner and Rebecca Arnesen of Music Norway will be there all week. Reach out to them if you want to meet up or have any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Nordic meet & greet, including listening session from the by:Songs songwriting camp, will be at Wednesday at Schmidtchen (Klubbhaus Berlin). More info here.
Read on to see and hear more about the acts playing this year.
Sigrid released her new song ‘Schedules’ in July, completing the highly lauded 5-track Raw EP. ‘Schedules’ continues to highlight the breadth of Sigrid’s talent and aptitude for songwriting, following the colossal A-List record ‘High Five’, the now Gold Strangers, and zeitgeist defining Don’t Kill My Vibe – which catapulted Sigrid into the public consciousness last year. Sigrid has also announced her biggest UK headline tour to date, as she takes on the O2 Brixton Academy on 12 November.
The past year has been remarkable for the 21-year-old Norwegian pop star. From winning the BBC Sound of 2018, to storming the stage at Radio 1’s Biggest Weekend, TRNSMT, Roskilde Festival and playing on Jimmy Fallon, to moving Helen Mirren on the Graham Norton Show, Sigrid’s unforgettably impassioned live performances have sparked mass appreciation and distinguished defiant pop songs.
With her Spotify following tripling since the start of the year, and streaming numbers reaching almost 300M globally, the pop sensation is undoubtedly set to continue her ascent with non-conformist and progressive attitudes to femininity with this forthcoming release.
Pom Poko are Ragnhild (lead vocals), Ola (Drums), Jonas (Bass) and Martin (Guitar). The 4 met whilst all studying at the Trondheim Music Conservatory in Norway and quickly began to garner interest from a wider audience once they’d begun playing & writing together. The group cite a range of questing influences on their unique sound, including “(West)-African music like Oumou Sangaré and Ali Farka Touré; indie bands like Vulfpeck, Palm and KNOWER; noisy high-energy bands such as Hella and Death Grips; and music with interesting lyrics such as Jenny Hval and Nick Drake.” But you’d struggle to pin them down to one or two forebears, given their resistance to anything resembling a prescriptive approach.
“We’ve all done lots of improvised music in the past, and I think that shapes the way we play, even though the tunes are not improvised. We like when new and strange things happen in an old song, and that music can change over time by being played live, because that removes predictability and the ‘recipe’ that some genres of music have.”
Their handful of self released singles to date have won them acclaim for their true ingenuity and eclectic sound that encompasses sing-song vocals, intense grooves, and bouncy guitars, whilst their rowdy performances have earned them an enviable reputation of being a feat to behold live; second to none for the deft delivery of complex rhythmic changes with an absurd level of energy on stage.
Fresh from a busy summer of festival bookings across Scandinavia and Europe, Pom Poko are due to arrive in the UK to support Darwin Deez at London’s Village Underground on 1st October and will also make their debut at this year’s Iceland Airwaves festival.
So Fieh is a bunch of different things at once: a distinctive singer and songwriter, an ambitious ensemble made out of some of the best young practitioners of this kind of music in Norway, and a gang of old friends who’ve known each other since they started taking music seriously.
They are a truly three-dimensional live act which feels like one big social event; true star quality, surrounded by myriads of musicality and a stage packed with sonic and visual details where the audience can wander freely.
“Glu” turned heads immediately when Bergen label Vibbefanger released it in Autumn 2017, which gained support on a number of different Spotify playlists. A huge highlight was when Elton John on his “Rocket Hour”, played the song and waxed about how much he admires the band. In February 2018, second single “25” explored slightly different moods and soundscapes and the band are working towards an EP.
With Fieh, you sense genuine, euphoric surprise over their results, combined with a certainty that none of this is a coincidence and that all of these adventures can be recreated and embellished on stage.
Norwegian rock band LÜT has over the past year established themselves as one of Norway’s most exciting acts. With their unique, tight and energetic live-performance with the hallmarks of a hard hitting soundscape and grand guitars, ending up as catchy melodic tunes, led to mainstream recognition.
During Scandinavia’s biggest music-industry festival “by:Larm” in 2017, they were named one of the festival’s three highlights alongside artists such as Sigrid, Julie Bergan and Cashmere Cat.
After their 20+ dates festival tour last summer, the band’s highly anticipated debut album «Pandion» was released on October 13th 2017.
LÜT was nominated for best ”liveact 2017” at P3Gull and at the Norwegian Grammy ”Spellemann” for 2017`s best newcomer. The band is now working with new materiale for their next album (release march 2019).
Though Askjell is only 24 years and a rather unknown name to most people, he is no rookie to the music business. This hard-working musical genius must be considered as one of the biggest pop producers in the thriving music city of Bergen on Norway’s west coast. He’s already worked with some of the hottest Norwegian pop stars, like Aurora and Sigrid, and is now ready to show the world what he’s been up to in his valuable spare time.
Askjell has a far more complex musical background compared to others in his profession, and there is almost no music genre he is unfamiliar with. His musical journey is reflected in his solo project, a journey that begun at an early age being exposed to music through is dad’s underground dance-records, buying himself a Casio keyboard and getting addicted to composing and music theory at the age of ten. His adolescence was filled with heavy metal and everything that comes with it – Converse, bass guitars and leather jackets – before discovering jazz, classical and electronic music in high school and turning his love for rock into a passion for prog. These experiences is what makes Askjell and his unique sound special.
A major turning point for Askjell was when he discovered music production. He was studying so hard that his teacher (now being his manager!) told him to come work in his studio instead of being at school. This made it possible for him to fuel his long-life passion for music into a real career opportunity. With his solo project Askjell wants to challenge the sometimes shallow nature of the world of popular music in which he resides – though he very well knows that he wouldn’t been able to make his music if it hadn’t been for the craftsmanship and structure the world of pop and urban has given him.
You can never escape the world you live in, but you can take a step to the side from time to time. Sometimes hard-working musical geniuses also need a break to breathe and sort out thoughts, and for Askjell that means heading over to the piano, closing his eyes, stopping time for just a moment, and create something that feels pure, real, classical and beautiful, yet still very much relevant to our 21st century lives.
He has toured the world for nearly ten years, playing for thousands of people night after night. Now, Pish is trying his luck with a unexpectedly sophisticated solo record. Pål Vindenes, also known as Moon Man, Space, Big P or simply Pish spends most of his time as one of the front men of Kakkmaddafakka, one of Norway’s biggest indie exports and possibly one of the best live bands on the planet, constantly dishing out ecstatic, high energy live shows. Who would have known that the same man would be capable of producing one of 2018’s most sophisticated guitar pop albums?
«I didn’t want to become lazy and comfortable», Pål says. «I sat down with my producer and told him to throw every prejudice about what a Pish album would sound out of the window. I guess a lot of people expect me to be funny and charming, but this record comes from a different place than where I find inspiration for the Kakkmaddafakka-material.»
Recorded together with Matias Tellez of «Young Dreams», the nine tracks showcase Vindenes’ taste for elegant guitar melodies, relatable, melancholic lyrics and solid indie pop production. «I wanted to be really involved, and together with Matias, I think we carved out a sound and feel of the album that’s really me!».
Even if «Pish» is mostly a solo effort, Pål has gotten help and inspiration from some familiar figures in the Kakkmaddafakka-universe. Axel Sverke Vindenes, the other front person of Kakkmaddafakka isn’t just Pål’s brother, but also runs their joint label operation, Bergen Mafia. «We created Bergen Mafia mostly to release Kakk-material, but after hearing the first demos that Pish and Matias had recorded, it was obvious for me that it made sense for us to release this record ourselves, and keep it in the family, business,» Axel says.
Great News is a daze pop-trio from Bergen, Norway, signed to Eget Selskap. Since the formation in 2015, they have played at SPOT (Aarhus), KOKO (London), Øya (Oslo), Bergenfest (Bergen) and Vill Vill Vest (Bergen).
Their first two singles from the upcoming album, title track “Wonderfault” and “Never Get My Love”, got massive attention from several indie blogs and press like Huffington Post and Clash Magazine. The great adventure continues in 2018 with gigs at Eurosonic, Nordic Delight and Bad Vibrations to mention a few.
With a sound that is sure to have you moving within seconds, Great News is a band you need to have on your radar.
– Huffington Post
Perfect for fans of DIIV or even Tame Impala’s moments of pop lucidity.
– Clash Magazine
Their newest Album Wonderfault is an example of the imperfect being something wonderful. It’s recorded by us, produced by us as friends doing what we love. This album brings meaning to our lives, it has been a life changing experience. There are too many out there that don’t start working/producing because they don’t have this mic or this preamp and so on, our message is to just do it even if it isn’t perfect in your ears. Remember to make music only for yourselves and your friends, don’t mind anyone else.
All our lives we’ve been reminded that we can’t just waste our lives making music and working odd jobs without making enough money to make life sustainable. It’s not like we choose to work these jobs because we like to work for minimum wage, it’s the price we pay for the gift of doing what we dreamt of our entire lives. Because when we play together we feel alive, and if we get to touch just one person with our music the mission is complete.
The definition of Wonderfault is something that is beautifully broken or not needing to be completely flawless to be beautiful. This is something we live by.
“The Spot band most likely to have an enormous Europe-wide hit record over the next few years” – Si Hawkins, Clash Magazine
”The spotlights are truly aimed at I am K this year! This is now, and this is the future” – Jostein Sydnes, 100 Dagar
“I am K are in a league of their own.” – Ine Rossebø Knudsen, Unikum
The quotes say it all. I am K have been predicted a bright future both by international and Norwegian media alike. According to Norways most popular radio station NRK P3 they are one of the most promising young acts on the scene today, and British Clash Magazine believe they will have a Europe wide hit record soon.
They started 2018 with a brand new shiny record deal from Apollon Records, signing with German booking company Solar Penguin and toured Norway all through winter and spring. Their debut album ”Humans” made sure that the band was already fully booked for the summer festival scene two months before it was even released.
I am K is hard hitting modern rock, incredibly catchy pop and gritty electronics in a shameless blend. The critically acclaimed band is well known for their powerful live shows, and a soundscape devoid of genre limitations. They are playful and energetic, never withouth depth or finesse. Rarely will you have encountered stickier hooks, more thrilling electronics and punchier rock in one package. I am K does whatever they please, and it shows.
On their resume you can find everything from supporting legendary ZZ Top, Spot festival in Denmark, and playing everywhere in Norway from Jotunheimen to Slottsfjell and back. You should see them live.