New Artist - 'Handshake'

We’ve already featured 2 electronic based artists today, so we may as well add a third, a new, impressive and genuinely exciting release from Swedish band ‘Handshake’. The band was formed after electronic instrumental duo Patrik Ebbersten and Carl-Johan Elger bumped into singer Peder Gravlund (formally of the Americana Indie band Shooting John) and asked him to try adding some vocals to their arrangements. The first output from Handshake is really interesting, it’s a single called ‘Waiting Still’ which is released on Friday, ahead of an album called Runaway, which will be released by Red Olive Music on November 30. The soft but spellbinding vocals of Gravlund combine so well with the elect

White Balance - 'Flock' single

Right at the beginning of the year (or at the end of last year) we gave a mention to Finnish Electro-Pop group ‘White Balance’ - they were our New Band of the Day No 18 in fact, and whilst we don't generally write about new single releases, we do like to keep an eye on what all those new bands we featured are up to. Anyway they have a new single and video out, and it’s their strongest yet – its called ‘Flock’ and it’s the first single and title track from an EP of the same name which is due out shortly. We don’t feature anywhere near enough music from this type of genre as it is, and I really like White Balance, with really strong vocals, good song writing and impressive evocative videos

New Artist - Denique

Yesterday we wrote about John Grant, and his inclusion in Nordic Music Review on the basis that whilst he may not be strictly Nordic born, he’s very much adopted Iceland as his home. And whilst Denique may be originally from Canada, his approach to writing and filming incorporates the beauty of Icelandic landscapes so powerfully, that we wanted to write about him too – he even looks slightly Scandanavian, aside from the pink tuxedo. Deniques work has naturally evolved from hiking in Iceland armed with his tripod, his videos are key to his artistry, and are as important as the music itself. I loved the images from the Swedish project Valsaland, who have done something similar, and even if

Major Parkinson - 'Live at Ricks'

I don't think we've reviewed a Live Album before at Nordic Music Review and in most circumstances we wouldn't normally do so, but this is no normal live concert and Major Parkinson are not a normal band. The Bergen based outfit that somehow combine progressive rock, catchy if twisted pop tunes and some demented dark nursery rhymes, are quite possibly our favourite band, so we feel morally obliged to take a listen. Its rare that the intro tune of a Live Set can instantly set anyone off with goosebumps and feelings of such intense emotion, but by opening with Cardiacs 'Home of Fadeless Splendour' (you can see it in the Live Video which has been released to accompany the album), Major Parkinson

Editorial Ramblings - Our Own Nordic gig

I hadn’t realized it until I drove home last night, but exactly one year ago to this week a small group of us went to see Moddi in Manchester, and it was that gig that inspired us to set up the Nordic Music Review. Moddi is such an upbeat positive performer, he instantly energises those around him and as we said in our very first review, his storytelling would grace the halls of the Lady Galadriel, let alone a small room at the back of the Castle Hotel. There were probably about 40 appreciative music lovers there, but it reminded us that there are so many great Nordic artists out there who don’t get much of an opportunity in the UK, and maybe we should do our own small bit to help. And ye

LIVE - 'Sara Forslund - when venue and vocals meet in perfect harmony

On Thursday 8th October, Liverpool’s haunting Gustav Adolf Church was filled with the equally haunting vocals of Sweden’s Sara Forslund. Accompanied by Cellist Georgina Aasgard, Forslund forewent any sound system for a truly acoustic gig. The high vaulted ceiling of the church and candle-lit altar complemented Forslund’s sound perfectly. The 40 minute set comprised a mixture of songs from Sara’s debut album Water Became Wild and a number of new songs. Cello and voice combined perfectly from the start on Twisted Wind and it was clear we would experience something special. As often happens in a church the audience was absolutely silent and entranced by Sara’s melancholic set. A short break

Svavar Knútur - 'Brot (The Breaking)'

We haven’t mentioned Svavar Knútur on our website before, so we’re delighted to be able to write a few words about his new album which is called ‘Brot (The Breaking)’. The singer songwriter from Icelandics Western Fjords released his debut album back in 2009, and is respected across Europe and beyond for his thoughtful and expressive songwriting skills, and his contribution to music has resulted in many accolades including the Anna Pálína Árnadóttir memorial award for folk music excellence in Iceland. Not for the first time this week I find myself writing about an artist who is, firstly, a storyteller. And Svavar Knútur does so in a very different way to many other singer songwriters, - he

23:23 - 'To Die On A Faraway Island With You' EP

When 23:23 released his excellent series of 3 albums earlier this year (we reviewed Softest Wave, Drifter, Torero back in June), I think I commented at the time that it would take me months to really get to know them. And I still am getting to know them, they’re a treasure trove of hazy low fi tracks, that need time to be really appreciated. But Rami Vierula, the man behind 23:23, hasn’t been resting, because we now have an EP too, the gorgeously entitled ‘To Die On A Faraway Island With You’ has been released through Soliti today, and if you missed the treble album release, this is a great introduction to the world of 23:23. The EP opens with ‘Oceaniafuzz’, and with an ‘American Graffiti’

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