A Carefully Planned Festival - Manchester 15th and 16th October....

I should be finishing off album reviews, updating gig pages and thinking up insightful interview questions, but I've been wanting to write about the 'Carefully Planned Festival' all week, for the very simple reason that it looks totally fantastic and that those that run it clearly do so because they completely love what they do and deserve every bit of support we can muster. This is the 6th Carefully Planned Festival, although interestingly if you read the pre-history of how the event was set up, key organiser Matthew Boycott-Garnett started putting on gigs back in 2007 because Danish band Marvins Revolt were looking for somewhere to play in the UK - similar to us organising our first gig l

Moddi - 'Unsongs'

I joked a few months ago that 'Unsongs' by Pål Moddi Knutsen was such a weighty project that our review might turn into a thesis, especially given we'd opted on the Pledge Campaign for the pack that had notes, demos and other such stuff on which would probably add to the words we'd want to write (which fortunately for you all, hasn't arrived yet). But actually I will try not to be too expansive, because for the best understanding of 'Unsongs', I'd suggest you go the material which Moddi himself has provided, through his website, videos and interviews - including some on the BBC which has been lovely to see. So the premise of 'Unsongs', should you not know already is that Moddi has released

Select Captain - new single '40 Nights (ft Mathilde Falch)'

We've regularly followed the progress of Select Captain and the songwriting of Kristian Gaarskjær from Denmark since their 'Pure Neon' EP last year, and we're delighted therefore to give you a quick update on his brand new single entitled '40 Nights'. The single has been released ahead of a new album called 'Strings and Feathers' which is due on the 14th October (through Mint Me Records), it features fellow Danish singer Mathilde Falch and as expected it is a really nice track which bodes well ahead of the album launch. The thing that I like most about Select Captain's releases is that Kristian Gaarskjær has this lovely natural songwriting style, which makes all his songs genuinely easy to g

Sonic Visions - 'Lights Go Out' Video

Whilst we complete a couple of album reviews and features (Moddi, Rebecka Boden and a few more...) we thought we'd drop in a mention of a great new video and track by Finnish band Sonic Visions. We stumbled across and wrote about this band briefly last year when looking at gig listings in Helsinki, and our early faith has been rewarded with another blistering track. 'Lights Go Out' is full of energy and purpose, psych shoegaze at its best, and the video shows that this band have a sense of identity and style too, take a look here: The band, now on the Soliti label, will be releasing their debut EP over the winter, and if you're based in Helsinki you can see them at the following places in Oc

DEBUT RELEASE! Tuvaband - double single...'Unknown / Running'

One of the greatest privileges of editing this website is receiving a submission through from an artist or band sending out their debut release, hearing a beautiful new track for the first time and being able to share it. And we're delighted to do that today with Tuvaband, who released their debut double single just yesterday The Norwegian / English duo Tuvaband consisting of Tuva Hellum Marschhäuser and Simon Would was originally simply a one woman project, but has now developed through the addition of their 2nd member, and now through a recording collaboration with Jonas Kjølstad / At the Loft Records. The results are really impressive and original too. We love our lo-fi sounds at NMR (23

Heavy Haiku - new single 'Sato ja paisto' (and a Stillwalkers update...)

We don't claim to be experts on anything here at Nordic Music Review, but the 2 things we probably have least knowledge on are Hip Hop and the Finnish Language. But whilst the new single by Finnish rapper 'Heavy Haiku' may be way out of our normal comfort zone, we just really liked the sound, and thought it worthy of a mention here. The single has been released ahead of 'Heavy Haiku's' new album, which is due soon, and the whole project has been produced by guitarist / vocalist Marko from the band 'The Stillwalkers' - responsible for our 2015 Album of the Year. The single subtly infuses some interesting rock sounds, which I think works really well, and here's the video for you to watch ri

Kristofer Axén - 'The Creek and the Carving

Whilst there is no doubt that many music websites / blogs will be wary of touching anything that claims to be influenced by 'progressive' styles of music, for us at Nordic Music Review its pretty much a guarantee that a music submission gets to the top of our listening queue. So we were delighted to be sent a copy of 'Kristofer Axén's new release 'The Creek and the Carving. I've always found huge depth in songwriting which has progressive influences, and it does undoubtedly also give me an excuse to mention the words 'Major' and 'Parkinson' in some context or other during this review. So Kristofer Axén is clearly proud of his progressive roots, and his latest album 'The Creek and the Carving

Ólafur Arnalds - 'Island Songs'

It has been particularly remiss of us not to write about Ólafur Arnalds astonishing collection of tracks, written and released over the summer, but in mitigation it all started during our summer vacation. Whilst we won't attempt a full 'review' at this stage, there will be a few people in the UK in particular who won't have come across the releases, so we wanted to make sure we'd at least covered the project, and pointed everyone in the direction of where to get more information. The idea behind 'Island Songs' has been that Arnalds has written and performed 7 songs across Iceland, with different musicians and in different locations, and those collaborations have released weekly with a video

Case Conrad - new single 'Heavy Metal Bars'

We have mentioned Case Conrad relatively recently, although you would have hardly noticed, as it was in the context of the album release by Ash & Iron, with the connection between the two being drummer Petter Bengtsson. Similarly to a few bands we've featured in the last year, Case Conrad are based between 2 countries, on this occasion Spain and Sweden, and following up from their excellent release 'Leikko', a new album entitled 'A Tightrope Wish' is due for release at the end of September. In the meantime the band have released a single, and I've played this so much over the course of the last 2 weeks. Its a beautifully constructed song, with a lovely acoustic guitar that keeps the song fl

Canigou - new single 'Owl'

Towards the end of 2015 we wrote about Canigou, a band who first caught our attention due to their lovely bio description on Twitter - 'a tiny orchestra from Sweden, summoning atmospheric sounds, spreading the love'. Anyway at the time they were just launching a kickstarter campaign to fund an album, and we're delighted that the first output from that has arrived in the form of a single called 'Owl'. 'Owl' is so beautifully atmospheric, and has a very different sound and structure to most releases we get to hear. I love the theme with the vocal harmonies at the start, but from there it just seems to build and evolve organically, and when I play this I get totally lost and mesmerized under

Pascal Pinon - 'Sundur'

We wrote about the pre album single release by Pascal Pinon - Icelandic twins Jófríður (also of Samaris) and Ásthildur Ákadóttir before our summer vacation. The album 'Sundur', which has now been out for a few weeks, is based around the separation of the twins, with Jófríður touring with her band, and Ásthildur studying composition in the Netherlands. And it has taken those few weeks to really get to grips with an album that is stripped back, raw and so utterly fragile. As soon as I heard the opening piano chords in Jósa & Lotta', i knew that this would be an album that would need some serious listening - although the complex vocal harmonies are gentle but rich, and the repeating offbeat

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