Marte Røyeng - No One EP

An EP which has been happily sitting on our playlists for some weeks now comes from another Norwegian artist whom we haven't featured before, Marte Røyeng. And after a week listening to the a whole variety of submissions, from metal to jazz, it's been really lovely to come back to this EP, which has a soft charm to it I really like. Marte Røyeng is an Oslo based singer songwriter, and whilst this is her debut, she has spent the last few years performing live all across the country, and one of the things that appealed to me when I first read about her is that she is a true multi-instrumentalist, playing piano, guitar and mandolin amongst other things. She even writes all the strings arrangem

I See Rivers - 'Standing Barefoot' EP

Having followed and written about the progress of Norwegian trio 'I See Rivers' for sometime, it is genuinely exciting to finally see the release of their debut EP, 'Standing Barefoot', as well as reading about them on websites far more prestigious than little Nordic Music Review. But I also have to confess at being slightly anxious over the prospect of listening to it - no-one could possibly doubt the talent of the 'float folk' trio, and their live performances are always captivating and lovely, but my concern was whether they would be able to translate that natural live connection onto a recorded EP. Well the good news is that 'Standing Barefoot' is a simply charming release, that captures

Water Boogie System - 'Year of Silver'

I made the mistake of saying, whilst writing about 'Frank Frank Frank', that I probably wouldn't review the new 'Water Boogie System' album because I simply wouldn't know what to say. As much as I appreciate, and am often fascinated by Jazz influenced releases, my knowledge is too limited. But such a statement isn't really good enough, whilst I may not have the technical expertise, I feel it's only right to try and explain in my own way why I like the new 'Water Boogie System' album so much, and why 'Year of Silver' is, in my opinion, pretty essential listening. To give some background first, well the band are from Gothenburg, and this is their 2nd album, following on from (award nominated)

Catself - 'A Shield' track and video

To me there's a connection between the last feature about Kalandra and this brief write up of the new Catself track and video 'A Shield', which has just been released. In fact to understand the personal context for writing about Catself, it would be really nice if you could read the Kalandra post too from a couple of days ago.... thanks. So we do have a stream of album and EP reviews on the way (inc 'Water Boogie System', 'I See Rivers' and then 'Var'), but this very simple little song from 'Catself' has again got me thinking. Catself has a unique quirky folk style, which won't be to everyone's liking, but to me her music is so personal and straight forward - she is a storyteller, and the ly

Kalandra - 'Concrete Landscapes' video

Hey so it's Easter weekend and a time where many people will be getting some time with their extended families, as I am, so I hope you don't mind a couple of posts about tracks which have struck a chord really personally with me. I've referenced before that I was brought up in a small village by the sea in Devon, an area where the most precious land is always a target for developers who want to exploit it for their own good. It has struck me travelling back this weekend that, whilst there have been some monstrously bad developments, the area does (mostly) remain unspoilt, and we are very fortunate to still see it like that. This is also a credit to the local people who are passionate about

Introducing.... Marteinn Sindri - 'Spring Comes Late Sometimes' single

We promised to feature a couple of new Icelandic artists, and the first is musician Marteinn Sindri, who we only came across recently, but it's proved good timing as he released his official debut single a couple of days ago entitled 'Spring Comes Late Sometimes'. Credit here should go to the always excellent Sofar Sounds, who've featured Marteinn, and he has a lovely assured folk influenced sound. 'Spring Comes Late Sometimes' is fairy self explanatory in terms of its subject matter, but what immediately impressed me as soon as I heard it is that the words have a really poetic feel, and it turns out that some of the lyrics originate from 18th century Icelandic poet Látra-Björg. Musically

Introducing.... Kikos and 'Timeless Melody'

Regular readers will know that when I really like an album I'm hearing for the first time, I'll get to about the 4th track and then excitedly return to the start to listen again. However I can't ever remember doing that halfway through the 1st track of a single which has been sent to us - until now that is, with Danish band 'Kikos' and their simply sensational song 'Timeless Melody'. To give some background about the band first, well Kikos are a Copenhagen based duo (David Klinke and Valdemar Have) that released an EP in 2015, won a Danish songwriting award for being 'Talent of the Year' and since then have been locked away, working with a variety of other musicians to try to establish the s

Introducing... 'Frank Frank Frank' and video 'Heart'

We have a whole stack of new music and artists we'd like to try and introduce to you, in particular we've unearthed some lovely music from Iceland, but first a band we've been meaning to write about for a couple of weeks from Finland, 'Frank Frank Frank'. Yet another addition to the ever excellent Soliti label (and if you haven't read our Delay Trees review please please do so), Frank Frank Frank are described as a 'power trio', and their debut release on the label is a video entitled 'Heart'. There are so many things that instantly appealed to me about this band, but in particular they they appear to have no set boundaries for what they want to do with their music. Unashamedly influenced by

Introducing... 'Eli' with single 'Okay'

We often do features on bands / artists who are appearing at the major music festivals in the Nordic countries - they're a great source of new and emerging talent, and we love making long playlists of all the artists playing and discovering which new artists will be appearing. Coming up soon is SPOT Festival in Denmark, there's a whole stream of artists we need to take a listen to, but first we'd like to introduce you to 'Eli', a new band formed by Danish songwriter HJalte Ross. Out of all the new music we've had on our listening playlists in the last few weeks, their debut track 'Okay' is the one which has grown on me most. Its a swirling laid back dream pop track, which has some great tou

Introducing... 'Nervous City | Nervous Self' with single 'G-d Knows What'

One track that we've been particularly intrigued by over the last week has come from a new collaboration from Sweden, 'Nervous City | Nervous Self', which is entitled 'G-d Knows What'. We all immediately liked the track, and I found myself listening on repeat, thinking about the lyrics too, which is always a good sign. The music itself has some obvious 80's indie influences, but the music doesn't sound dated, and the writers are clearly able to write a good tune, and construct a pretty fine pop song. Take a listen to the track here: If truth be told, though, we had almost zero information about this new project, so we thought it best to ask some questions, and we were given some interesting

amini - new single 'How Long'

After featuring a few artists new to Nordic Music Review, we're delighted to return to an 'old' favourite, with Norwegian duo amini releasing a new single entitled 'How Long'. I've always liked amini's music, as I've probably said before, there's a real distinctness in the vocals - melancholy indie pop it might be, but it is unusual and I particularly love the lyrics. 'How Long' in many ways is a relatively conventional track, but I really like the laid back feel, with a simple melody that works well and some lovely subtleties in the instrumental arrangements, another feature of this band if you listen to them a few times. Listen to the track for yourself here: Anyway one of the lovely bon

Introducing.... Maldito - with 'I'm Yours Tonight' single

We're hoping to cover a really wide variety of musical styles this weekend, from Finnish Accordion composition to some softer indie pop, and in Maldito, we're delighted to cover a band who, to an extent, write in a fairly orthodox blues rock style, but do so with an intensity and an edge that makes them really interesting to listen to. Their new single 'I'm Yours Tonight' is a great example. Maldito are from Norway, but in the tradition of some our favourite Norwegian artists, have been studying at LIPA in Liverpool, following Kalandra whom we again featured last week, and of course I See Rivers, whom we'll be featuring in the next week or so. They have 2 tracks you can find on streaming ser

The School Book Depository: 'Salvation' single release

We've completed a really lengthy Teija Niku album review today, but I wanted us to drop in some quick mentions of a few more releases, starting with this new single from the 'The School Book Depository', the musical output of Swedish songwriter Fredrik Solfors (Kinetics, Wagon and more...). I am hopeful we'll have time to do a full review of this album, because the single 'Salvation' has immediately appealed to me for so many reasons - it's an upbeat track with a big chorus, and I'm already fascinated by the lyrics which are pointed and thoughtful. We're promised a huge variety of musical influences in the album too, which were all recorded in Fredrik's home studio in 2016. Take a listen to

Teija Niku - 'Memento'

I think I've written before about those 'moments' you get sometimes when you're listening to music, when you hear something really special, often for the first time and that moment is frozen into your consciousness - where you were, whom you were with, or what you were doing at the time. Listening to our 2016 album of the year by 'CeaseTone' on a beach in Mexico is a particularly memorable example. So whilst the M1 just outside Mansfield isn't the most idyllic location I've ever listened to music, it is the place I'll also remember hearing the track 'Memento' (the title track from her new album) by Teija Niku for the first time. It's a simple enough musical theme played first by accordion, b

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