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Entries in Norway (6)


Silje Leirvik – Endless Serenade

Album release: Silje Leirvik – Endless Serenade
Label: Autumnsongs Records
Release date: 16th December 2013
Listen: via Youtube sampler 

Autumnsongs Records are very happy to announce Norwegian songwriter Silje Leirvik's second album, Endless Serenade. The album comes only a year after Leirvik's debut, and is packed full of lush atmospherics and a glowing energy. Where her debut album, With The Lights Turned Out So Beautiful, was set in a more traditional singer-songwriter genre, featuring the organic tones of grand piano and string section, this time Leirvik (alongside producer Rhys Marsh) decided to experiment more with textures — feeding pedal steel guitar, electric piano and drum machine through tape delay machines, then blending this with drums, mellotron and guitars. This results in the album having a very warm, retro presence, that swims through its gorgeous undertones or folk, rock and pop.

Opening track Glass of Water sets the album’s shimmering tone with its gently pulsing guitars and lyrical refrain “I’ll drink of yours, you can drink of me”, setting out Lerivik’s stall as a thoughtful songwriter, enchanted by the unknown. Recent single Silver & Gold echoes this sentiment. Leirvik herself says that Silver & Gold is a song about the complexity and mysteriousness of love. If it came in the form of silver and gold, we would know when it was found, but life tends to be less specific.” It is this theme of love, and the mystery that entangles it, that dominates the album thematically. Through the beguiling When In The Water to the mesmeric Snø (sung in her native tongue) a contemplative lyrical flourish is never far away.

“Once under the skin, Leirvik's songs will remain with you for a long time” Norway Rock Magazine


Mona & Maria release debut album, 'My Sun'

Album release: My Sun by Mona & Maria
Release date: 21 October 2013
Label: Jansen Plateproduksjon
Listen: on Soundcloud

Mona & Maria are a fantastic new duo from Oslo. They are now here with their debut album My Sun - music which can be described as harmony-based pop with folk elements and great, and often grand, arrangements, but still with an acoustic feel. Their debut consists of 10 self-written songs.

Mona & Maria tell us about the debut: “Something was let loose after we started working on songs that did not fit the sound of the band we were in. We strongly felt the need to create something more personal, and we started making melodies to something obscure that had been lying dormant in both of us. After a band breakdown, came a new musical need that we found in each other. We both were terrified of singing alone, but together we sort of found a third person to make us feel secure. We began experimenting with harmonies. It became our way of being together. After several rounds and recordings of these songs, the record started to take shape, and we found our soundscape by working with dynamics. We wanted to have both the low-key and intimate, and the grandiose and dramatic, to have both darkness and light at once. We wanted to make unpretentious arrangements that enhanced the lyrics and the melodies, and not buried them. The result was My Sun.”

Mona Andersen (27) and Maria Knudsen (28) have already written songs together for many years, and both were central parts of the band Bazooka Boppers, with which they released two albums. After the band’s break-up in 2010, Mona and Maria continued playing together, and it worked out so well that they decided to move forward as a duo. The album was recorded at Engfelt & Forsgren Studio with Christian Engfelt (Cato Salsa Experience, Apricot and Turns, and as a producer Lionheart Brothers, Cheaters and more) as a producer, along with the girls themselves. Engfelt also plays the bass on a few of the songs.

Also participating on the album are some of Norway’s very best musicians:

  • Martin Horntveth (Jaga Jazzist, The National Bank, Jonas Alaska) - percussion
  • David Wallumrød (Jonas Alaska, Bjørn Eidsvåg med flere) - keys
  • Eivind Staxrud (Raga Rockers) - guitars
  • Olaf Olsen (Big Bang) - drums
  • Knut Schreiner (Turboneger, Mirror Lakes, Kåre & The Cavemen) – guest guitar
  • Marcus Bror Forsgren (Lionheart Brothers) – guest guitar
  • Kaja Fjellberg Pettersen (Karpe Diem, Jens Carelius, Siri Nilsen) - cello
  • Bendik Brænne (Dum Dum Boys, Los Plantronics) – saxophone and flute
  • Henning Sansdalen (Le Corbeau, Hanne Hukkelberg) - bass
  • Hans Friis (Dum Dum Boys, Los Plantronics) - trombone
  • Members of KORK also participate on strings and bassoon.

Atlanter - Vidde: out August 12 on Jansen Plateproduksjon

Album release: Vidde by Atlanter
Release date: 12 August 2013
Label: Jansen Plateproduksjon
Listen: on Jansen Plateproduksjon site

Atlanter is Jens Carelius’ and Arild Hammerø’s new band project. They play rock inspired by desert blues bands and German krautrock and have a healthy appreciation for classic psych and prog. All this is done with a Norwegian twist and point of view, and is perhaps best described as Norwegian "viddeblues". Besides Carelius and Hammerø, the viddeblues ensemble Atlanter consists of Jonas Barsten Johnsen and Morten Kvam. Their debut album Vidde consists of 9 powerful, rhythmic-based songs, all written by the band and produced by Øyvind Røsrud Gundersen (Siri Nilsen, Jens Carelius, Hanne Kolstø).  

Arild Hammerø from the band tells us about the music and the album: "Atlanter has an open-minded approach to playing music. The songs change from one concert to another, and we try to avoid a polished and rehearsed sound. I think everyone in the band enjoys this openness, that something new can happen on every song. We captured this feeling on the record too, and what brings it all together is that it is mostly based on very distinct rhythms. Playing with Atlanter is like dancing around a fire, there is an intense energy there. Our goal is for the audience to feel this energy too, so they can join in on the dance."

About the band

Jens Carelius has made a name for himself on the Norwegian music scene with the releases The First Songs (2008), The Beat Of The Travel (2009) and The Architect (2011). He has received brilliant reviews for all albums, especially the recent two, with mostly 5 and 6 out of 6 in most Norwegian newspapers. And, yes, in Norway, reviews are always out of 6.  He has sold a great number of albums, and was also the opening act on the largest stage at the Øya festival in 2011.

Arild Hammerø released his debut album Dagen Som Gryr in 2008, which was well received by the Norwegian press. “Arild Hammerø is a folk singer who protects the heart-warming legacy of folk singers Lillebjørn Nilsen and Stein Ove Berg. Sensitive, lyrical and likeable”, wrote Norwegian newspaper Vårt Land. The album Flåte by Hammer & Hersk (Arild Hammerø and Daniel Herskedal) was released in 2012 and received good reviews. Arild is also a regular on guitar in the electronica duo Ost & Kjex, and participates on the album Cajun Lunch.  

The rest of the band play a central part too, however, with Jonas Barsten Johnsen a young percussionist with a Masters degree from the Norwegian Academy of Music. He is/has been collaborating with amongst others: Frøy Aagre, Bendik Hofseth, Bendik Baksaas, Disaster in the Universe, Eivind Aarset, CCTV, Adam Rudolph and Bjørn Charles Dreyer. He is also a key player of the improv scene in Oslo with a focus on electronics, percussion and dance. He has played more than 100 gigs each of the last 3 years, including the most central festivals in Norway.

The band are completed by Morten Kvam who has played the string bass/electric bass and been an active musician in Bergen and Oslo within different genres such as jazz, rock, improvisation and folk music. He has collaborated with musicians such as Siri Nilsen, Terje Isungset, Per Jørgensen, Olav Dahle, Walter Thompson (US), Kevin Dean (CAN), Arild Hammerø, klezmer band Ot Azoi, Bugge Wesseltoft, Borge & Kvam, Polkabjørn and Kleine Heine, Push and Ine Hoem. He has also contributed on all Jens Carelius’ records and Arild Hammerø’s debut album.


  • 6/6 “a debut album that sounds downright grand and, pardon our French, fucking awesome.” –
  • 5/6 “a mountain plateau filled with violent rhythms and sudden turns… The album grows with every spin” –
  • 5/6 ”Mountain magic! Atlanter makes their debut with a blast, and equal parts of discipline and playfulness. “ – NRK P3

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