Suð - 'Meira suð'

Nordic Music Review is 2 years old today, and whilst new bands keep emerging, it's always great to see an older band that we previously haven't written about release a new album - and being only 2 years old that is bound to happen, most bands will obviously release albums on a 2-3 year cycle. In the case of Icelandic band Suð, well that process has taken slightly longer because this is their first album for 17 years, but it is great to have them back, and 'Meira suð' is a really interesting album with an indie punk sound that has some lovely softer melodic moments too. In the circumstances it is clearly beneficial to give some additional Suð background. Formed in an underground scene in the

New Artist - Jarle Skavhellen

After covering a couple of Artists that we've featured before on Nordic Music Review, we're delighted to introduce you to a new name, even if the Singer-Songwriter has been performing for many years with other bands. Jarle Skavhellen is from Bergen in Norway, and he has released 2 impressive and interesting debut solo tracks, whilst also demonstrating a really distinct style, which we think many of you will like. Jarle's music is clearly shaped by some really traditional folk and country artists, he happily names both Chet Atkins and Dave Van Ronk as his influences, but the key here is that his vocals seem so naturally suited to this style of music. Opening track 'Ghost In Your Smile' start

Catself - new track and video 'Waiting Room'

Nordic Music Review is 2 years old in just a few days time, and I was thinking last week of a few of the artists we featured around our first birthday, and some of the world events at that time. 'Catself' from Finland was one of those artists, we really like her quirky alternative folk pop style, with songs that tell magical stories, backed up by a nice sense of humour. Last year our featured track was 'Alien Vampiress is Fitting In' and we were delighted to hear that she has a new release, and it is a really lovely song and video too, entitled 'Waiting Room'. The premise behind 'Waiting Room' is so charming, and given that recent world news has left us slightly shell-shocked, it is such a

Rythmatik - 'Waves' EP

There are a few new bands / artists that we've been meaning to feature who appeared at the Iceland Airwaves festival a few weeks back, and we will get to them eventually - EP and Album releases will start to quieten down leading up to Christmas, and we'll write some introductions before we think about our Album Of The Year for 2016. Rythmatik, however, are a young Icelandic band who not only appeared at Airwaves but also have an EP out, and I've been enjoying listening to it for the last couple of weeks. Rythmatik are a 4 piece band, and they came to prominence after winning the 2015 Iceland 'Battle of the Bands - Músíktilraunir'. Previous winners of the competition include Agent Fresco, O

Havenaire - 'Monsters' visual film from 'Tremolo' album

One release which has been happily sitting on our listening playlist for a few weeks now is from Electronic Experimental Composer John Roger Olsson who releases music as 'Havenaire'. His debut album 'Tremolo' was released earlier this year, and now a series of short visual films have been created by Magnus Dahlbäck, and I think they work really well. Havenaire's music is ambient, created with precision and care, a complex mix of delicate textures, darkness and light but where there are no extremes of either. It is music you can get utterly lost in, and the visuals from Dahlbäck therefore seem to work perfectly. He created the films by dropping an underwater camera to the bottom of Lake Flate

Giant Giant - 'I Didn't Know' video

We've done pretty well with a series of Album Reviews in the last week, so we thought it would be good to squeeze in a video and new version of a track from one of our favourite albums of this year, the self titled album by 'Giant Giant'. For those of you who never saw that review, well Giant Giant are a 3 piece band from Helsinki who write indie rock with melodies and raw guitars, and we loved the album they released in February - reminding us in some ways of the much missed British band 'Hope of the States'. Tracks such as 'Skylab' and 'All You Need is More' particularly stood out, and it was well received by a few of the NMR 'helpers' too. Anyway they've just released a really good Acou

Royal Lips - 'Serene Calmidity' EP

I always get excited when submissions arrive into our mailbox from Finnish Indie Rock bands, the last year we've had 2 particularly fine releases come through this channel - notably The Stillwalkers of course, and also Giant Giant - and we'll have more on both those bands shortly. So as soon as 'Royal Lips' and their EP 'Serene Calmidity' arrived I was taking a listen, and it is a really likeable release - whilst essentially they have the feel of a Garage Indie Rock / Punk band, their music is big, bold and has a real ambition about it. So Royal Lips are a 4 piece band from the beautiful looking provincial city of Kuopio - the type of place that the Finnish Music and Tourist industry shoul

Agnes Obel - Citizen of Glass

This may be relatively short review for Agnes Obel as our normal rules for more established artists apply - 'Citizen of Glass' is featured in so many different publications and websites far more eminent than ourselves, and why read our unprofessional ramblings when you can read the experts in places such as The Guardian. Anyway this is the 3rd album from the Berlin based Danish artist, her boldest release to date and I've enjoyed getting to know this more than any of her previous albums too. Agnes Obel has also found an interesting theme for the album, that of the 'gläserner bürger' - the concept of the glass citizen and how much privacy an individual has, based on how much we are all to an

David Åhlén - Hidden Light

After our short review of Bob Lund and their album released in September, it occurred to me again that there's still a couple of releases outstanding from around then which we just haven't had chance to write about. David Åhlén's release 'Hidden Light' particularly stands out as I've had it on my listening playlist for a few weeks, and it is fairly extraordinary, even if it might take a few listens to seep into your inner consciousness. David Åhlén is a songwriter from Sweden, who lives fairly remotely on the Island of Gotland within a Monastic community which offers shelter to those who need it. And although we haven't directly written about his music previously, we have mentioned him in t

Bob Hund - 'Dödliga klassiker'

I wanted to give a very quick mention to Bob Hund and their excellent album Dödliga klassiker, which other than a pre album release mention by the always excellent Nordic Playlist, hasn't to my knowledge received any coverage in English written websites or magazines. The fact that the album is sung in Swedish is probably the reason for this, but that is a shame, because it is a brilliantly written album, with a lovely mix of Indie Rock and quirky instrumentation, and plenty of catchy sing-a-long moments too. For those of you that don't know Bob Hund, they've been releasing material since 1993, with countless albums and a great live reputation built over all their years of touring. To link th

Kalandra - new single 'What Do You Know About Love'

As regular readers know we've followed the progress of Norwegian folk rock influenced Kalandra for the last 2 years and they are finally get close to a formal debut EP launch, which is particularly great news. Everyone involved with Nordic Music Review are in agreement on their talents, and we have all been looking forward to new material. Anyway their debut EP will be entitled 'Beneath The Breaking Waves' and ahead of that we're delighted to be able to let you listen to 'What Do You Know About Love', their single released yesterday. It is a beautifully written and effortlessly delivered ballad, with a slightly dark feel to the opening, whilst still in the Kalandra style with the track bui

Shikoswe - 'The Hour of the Body' EP

We don't want to write too much more on Norwegian singer songwriter Shikoswe as it is just a month ago that we wrote an 'Introducing...' feature on her, in advance of her debut EP. But that debut EP 'The Hour of the Body' is now here, and it definitely lives up to the high expectations that we had of an artist who combines beautiful songwriting with a lovely distinct voice. There are 6 tracks on the EP, so firstly this does feel like a really solid debut, and not only is there a consistent strength in the tracks from start to finish, but there is variety in the style too - from the stripped back opening of 'Funerals' which gradually builds in intensity, to the beautiful rhythms and fuller i

Nils Martin - new single 'You Shine A Light On Me'

There's so many things I want to say this morning, but thankfully there is still music in the world and today we have a release from none other than Nils Martin, Norwegian singer songwriter who's progress we have followed closely since he played at a Nordic Music Review gig last year. Nils originates from Alta in Norway, which is really far North (and now that we're in November really dark...), and that appears to be reflected in 'You Shine A Light On Me'. Just a couple of weeks ago we featured Asmodean, the progressive metal band which he plays guitar in, and as expected his solo release is very different. I love the churning slightly gritty guitar which accompanies the track throughout, an

Klasu - double single release and video

We've featured Klasu a few times before, not only is he a guitarist in the excellent Koria Kitten Riot, but he released a self titled album last year which we wrote about. He writes beautiful written songs with soft vocals, and the Finnish language vocals suit his style really well. Anyway he's now released a 'Double-A' side style single, with a video alongside for 'Eksyn vuokesi', which can be translated as 'I Get Lost Because of You' or 'I Get Lost For You'. It has a slightly more upbeat tempo than many of his tracks from his debut album, and with a lovely floating melody and natural vocals, it is really easy to listen to and like. Here's the video: The second track I particularly like, e

Introducing Helga - debut EP 'My Revelation'

We've featured a number of artists at the start of their solo careers, releasing self funded and produced EP's ' / Albums that won't get as much attention. Canigou were probably a great example - their first releases had character and some lovely touches, and whilst their final output lacked some production quality, it was a key step towards them being able to ultimately produce an album which has been up with the best releases of the 2016. So we're delighted to introduce you to HELGA, a Multi-Instrumentalist from Dalarna in Sweden, with a debut EP entitled 'My Revelation' which is full of individualism and promise, and which contains a few tracks worthy of closer inspection. HELGA probably

VVhales - 'VVhales' EP

One good music discovery often leads to another. After our review of the extraordinary 'Svankropp', we were tipped off about 'VVhales', a Swedish indie band who share the same drummer as Svankropp. And despite initial challenges finding them on Spotify (it is of course VVhales with 2 'V's rather than a 'W') my week certainly hasn't been wasted since then getting to know an EP which is slightly more accessible than Svankropp, but which shares some of the same brilliant eccentricities. The EP opens up with 'Grownup's Disco', a glorious 3 minutes of instrumental noise, which veers between the chaotic and the anarchic. It reminds me of an amazing YouTube video I've seen of a disco at a retirem

₩€$€‎₦ - Wall Of Pain

We've been on a roll with album reviews in the last couple of weeks, which is a good thing as it shows the variety of good quality releases coming out at the moment - and we still have the Agnes Obel release and some interesting EP's to come. And ₩€$€‎₦ are a lovely contrast to the soft Americana charm of Select Captain and the extraordinary absurdity of Svankropp. The Icelandic duo have released their album 'Wall of Pain' and it's a lovely subtle mix of mostly Electronic but also Acoustic sounds, and I have no doubt of its wide ranging appeal. The duo comprise collaborators and friends Júlía Hermannsdóttir (who has played with the excellent Oyama) and LojiHöskuldsson (Sudden Weather Change)

KRÍA - Altaka 'EP'

Aside from Norwegian progressive metal band Asmodean, there was another new release we were planning on covering yesterday, but unfortunately we ran out of time. KRÍA is an Icelandic electronic songwriter / artist, as well as producer, and yesterday she released the final track 'Levels' from her EP 'Altaka'. KRÍA is an artist establishing herself with a really good reputation, and it is easy to understand why. She first came to prominence with an EP last year entitled 'Low Hype', and I particularly recommend the title track from that EP, which you can still find on Spotify and other streaming services. There are four tracks on 'Altaka', and the latest release 'Levels' has really grown on m

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