Scandinavian music talent post-Abba enjoys an ever widening audience with an increasingly eclectic sound. Norwegian artists Röyksopp, Kings Of Convenience, Sondre Lerche, Magnet, Ralph Myerz & The Jack Herren Band are springing to international acclaim from their musical heartland in Bergen.
Newcomers to the set are Headwaiter and this top notch debut, produced by HP Gundersen and Kato Aadland (Sondre Lerche, Natalie Nordnes, Tim Rose, Sean O'Hagan).
Their love of country, 60's psychedelia, and poppy string arrangements is evidenced in a cross of both strident and melancholic songs distinctively voiced by frontman Per Jorgensen (the bastard offspring of Nick Cave and Leonard Cohen as one critic noted).
Guest vocalist and songwriter is the late London-based American troubadour Tim Rose who became a fan of the band whilst recording his last album American Son at the same studio in Bergen.
1. Not Goin' Anywhere 2. Don't Walk Away
3. Strange Things Happen
Audio : Not Goin' Anywhere
For a gastronome, this is pretty damn fine fare. Its late night rock dominated by deep throaty vocals - imagine some of Floyd/Roger Waters quieter moments with Nick Cave on vocals and you wont be wide of the mark. The album is vocal and rhythm guitar dominated with some insanely catchy choruses - for example, on the exquisite 'Strange Things Happen' (a duet with Tim Rose), 'Are You Celebrating Me', and a personal favourite 'My Sweet Love' (which has distinct Lennon overtones).
Its one of those albums that you keep reaching for but are never quite sure why. Definitely a grower and one that gets further under your skin with each listen. Its not one for if you want to practice air guitar, but in lifes quieter moments its soothing and hypnotic. As they say, in all the best restaurants, enjoy.
Pete Whalley, www.getreadytorock.com
£7.99 plus postage