'Melba Vision' - 'Favours for Favours' (EP)

The moment we tire of getting submissions from Nordic bands we haven't previously come across with full EPs and Albums to get stuck into will be the day we hang up our headphones - we'll never forget the impact the likes of 'The Stillwalkers' made. And whilst it's unlikely that Danish band 'Melba Vision' will be heading our Releases of the Year list as the Finnish band did, their new EP 'Favours for Favours' is a highly enjoyable and at times intense alternative rock release, with a couple of real stand out songs. So to introduce them, 'Melba Vision' are a 5 piece band from Copenhagen, and over the last few years they've released (through slightly different line-ups) a steady stream of EPs,

In Short: Júníus Meyvant - 'Across the Borders' (album)

I'm not going to write too much about the new Júníus Meyvant album, because I do think that it will get covered in a fair few other places, and I'd like to write about a few diverse Independent acts that probably won't get the same attention. But, as expected, it is such a beautifully written and performed soul folk album - slick, sophisticated and backed up with the most lovely instrumental arrangements. Hopefully everyone is pretty familiar with the Icelandic singer songwriter, born as Unnar Gísli Sigurmundsson in the Westland Islands, and who's album 'Floating Harmonies' was one of our Albums of the Year in 2016. His new album 'Across the Borders' was recorded with fellow Icelandic musi

Introducing.... 'A. Bird' with track 'Easy'

Our focus on Albums and EP's continues, later we'll have a short Junius Meyvant review, and there's releases by Jon-Olov Woxlin, 'SUNDAYS', 'Melba Vision' and many more to consider before we're treated to more Album release by 'Highasakite' and 'Spielbergs' this Friday. But first a new introduction, and whilst sometimes we get pages of biographic background on new artists sent to us, it was reassuring to be sent something last week that simply said ''A. Bird is a folk-pop artist from Copenhagen, Denmark''. And given our Google attempts to establish the background of 'A Bird' in Copenhagen simply led to pictures of birds in Copenhagen, we actually think that's all you need to know for now, a

Album of the Week: 'Pelicat' - Pelicat' (album)

Well we're almost feeling relevant reviewing Albums actually released in the last week, and after the intense textures of 'Hidden Land' and quiet folk charms of 'Loyal Liar', it does feel pretty good to be able to switch styles, with Norwegian Indie Pop band 'Pelicat' and their self titled debut release. Now hopefully regular readers will remember that we've written about these guys before, as the trio released a few singles last year in the run up to the album - and they write fairly timeless tunes with a big helping of 60's and 70's pop infleunces, but delivered in an indie guitar style. It all opens with 'Across the Field', and it's a laid back start that builds to the first (of many) ant

'Loyal Liar' - 'For the Sharks That Roam Below' (album)

The number of Nordic album releases in our diary for February and March is pretty extraordinary, and we know for each one on our list, there's probably another 3 or 4 waiting to be discovered. One release which slipped out at the beginning of the year was from the lo-fi Swedish / Austrian folk duo 'Loyal Liar' (consisting of Albin Andersson and Hanna Magdalena Gödl), and the intriguingly titled 'For the Sharks That Roam Below' is a quietly charming album which doesn't clamour for attention, but is definitely worth seeking out. Now I admit my attention was first turned by the mention of 'Belle & Sebastian' and 'Sufjan Stevens' style influences, because who doesn't like both those artists, an

'Hidden Land' - 'Perspectives' (album)

We never expect that those songwriters and bands we write about are truly 100% Nordic in their origin. We've even considered a complete rebrand and going global, but we can barely keep up with Nordic music releases as it is and the musical world is too vast for us to consider every nation. But we feature plenty of cross-continent collaborations, and one in particular which has been brought to our attention is 'Hidden Land', a project founded between Myles O'Mainnian from California and Johan Lager from Stockholm. Musically they have released a striking and thickly textured set of songs, with thoughtful and rich string arrangements and melancholy but never completely despairing vocals. I can

Introducing...'Little Birds' with 'Know You Better' (video)

Unfortunately we've had to content with 'Staff Illness' this week, which has delayed a couple of new artist introductions in the run up to a crazy series of album releases - today includes the excellent 'Pelicat', before 'Highasakite' and 'Spielbergs' offer releases next week. But first we'll just slip in a new band introduction alongside a lovely video, and it's from Swedish band 'Little Birds' - with help from the excellent 'Flocken Media', who were responsible for that video. Anyway 'Little Birds' are originally from Värmland, and they formed back in 2016, but settled on the current line-up more recently, and started to makie progress once signed to Rexius Records in 2017. Their music s

Introducing... 'FRI5K' - 'Where The Roses Grow' (single)

There is a great selection of Albums / EP's being released next Friday 25th ('Pelicat' and 'Novel-Fae' amongst others), but we think today is relatively quiet for new Albums, so instead we'll concentrate on a new single by an artist we've featured before, albeit in different projects. 'FRI5K' may sound like a Friday morning running club, but he's actually from Norway, and behind the name is none other than Nils Martin, who we've featured as a solo artist and through his involvement in the rock band 'Asmodean'. 'Where the Roses Grow' is the debut single from the project, and it reflects a slight change in direction for the versatile musician and producer, who clearly has the ability to write

'Through the Canopy' - 'Descension' (EP)

We've covered a range of Albums / EPs in our previous feature, but there is one new releases which has sneaked out on Tuesday of this week, and it's a quite monstrous 2 track debut from Norwegian post-metal / prog-doom band 'Through the Canopy' - it's called 'Descension', and as we would probably expect from a post metal band with this type of name, both tracks are over 10 minutes long. This qualifies for an almost instant write-up in Nordic Music Review, we love music to get stuck into. So 'Through the Canopy' are a 3 piece band from Trondheim (Kristian Drivenes, Eirik Mathias Husum and Torgeir Sølvberg Nilsen), and they were formed following the attendance of band members at a 'Pentagram'

NMR Album / EP Round-Up (volume 1)!

So welcome to a new (probably bi-weekly) feature for 2019, where we briefly feature any Albums / EP's we haven't had chance to write a full review about. I guess how many releases we feature will vary week by week / month by month...: This week, inevitably, features a few releases from 2018: 'Joonas Holmén + The Lossy Codecs' - 'Sterner Stuff' (album) We featured Finnish musician Joonas Holmén sometime last year with a release as part of his 'Joonas Holmén + The Lossy Codecs' project, with a single entitled 'A Righteous Man' which was unconventionally marvellous, and his album 'Sterner Stuff' is a highly enjoyable romp, 10 indie guitar tracks which range from the thoughtful 'My Fellow Men',

Árstíðir - UK TOUR! Bristol, Birmingham, Glasgow, Manchester, London!

There's still a steady stream of good Nordic gigs in the UK if you look hard enough, and one band that we're particularly excited to see over in the UK are the phenomenal Icelandic band Árstíðir, who we've covered a few times, and who followed up their stunning 2015 album 'Hvel' with a new release in 2018 entitled 'Nivalis'. They have 5 UK dates and they're pretty much following the road we took with the Nordic Music Review promoted 'Major Parkinson' gigs, but with a detour to Glasgow in the middle, and it all starts at the Exchange Bristol on Tuesday 22nd - a lovely little venue run by great people. They will also play at Manchester Rebellion, which I'm really looking forward to, having no

'Select Captain' - 'Off to Save the World' (album)

Of course we'll never catch up on everything we missed in 2018, but we're doing our best to cover a selection of the Autumn / Winter releases, and today we'll briefly cover Danish songwriter 'Select Captain' who released his album 'Off To Save the World' in October - maybe that should be Donald's 2nd term campaign slogan after he's 'Made America Great Again'. We've written about 'Select Captain' a fair few times before, a consistent Americana / Folk influenced songwriter who's music and vocals have a soft reassuring edge to them. Anyway 'Off To Save The World' opens in a reflective melancholy mood with the track 'Fit', and immediately it's the sound of the piano and vocals that I find warmi

In Short: 'Les Big Byrd' - 'Iran Iraq IKEA' (album) + Live at Tapetown!

We're making progress through a list of albums we missed in the latter parts of 2018, and we've featured some slightly leftfield releases so far, so we'll take it slightly in the direction of indie mainstream with a few words on an album by Swedish band 'Les Big Byrd' which was released in October. 'Les Big Byrd' have been around for years, in fact their debut album 'They Worshipped Cats' was released before we existed, and the new(ish) release 'Iran Iraq IKEA' is simply brimming full of confidence, a band who seem very at home with their krautrock style. There are a fair few highlights, from the moment they launch into 'Geräusche' there is a sense of authority, with a slick mix of synths an

'Vestbo Trio' - 'Gentlemen...' (album)

We featured the Swedish improvisation outfit 'Trio Ramberget' yesterday, and we'll keep with the 'trio'; theme with a few words about another 'hot off the press release', this time by Danish instrumental band the 'Vestbo Trio', who feature Michael Vestbo on guitar, supported by Eddi Jari and Jesper Smalbro on drums / percussion and electric / acoustic bass respectively. We wrote about these guys back in 2015 when they released an album entitled 'While You Were Gone' - still worth checking out, particularly for tracks such as 'Whitewall Tires'. Now I'm definitely not planning a long review this time, because I really want to spend some time today covering releases we missed from late last ye

'Jiji Moon' - 'Jiji Moon' (EP)

We're starting to make an inroad into our 2018 backlog, so it's time to start slipping in some brand new 'hot off the shelf' releases. And through some type of huge coincidence, given we're belatedly still working through dozens of submissions from the last few months, it turns out that there is a connection between the debut EP from Swedish duo 'Jiji Moon' and our featured band from yesterday, the ambient 'Ramberget Trio' - through musician Gustav Davidsson, who is half of the former, and a third of the latter. Interestingly the other half of 'Jiji' Moon' is Axel Larsson from the brilliant if slightly unpredictable 'Svankropp', amongst other bands. I must admit when I first heard 'Jiji Mo

'Trio Ramberget' - 'Musik att somna till' (album)

We try to cover a wide range of musical styles at Nordic Music Review, and we've had a few ambient / minimalist style submissions recently we haven't had chance to write about, so a brief foray into that world takes us to 'Trio Ramberget', who recently released an album entitled 'Musik att somna till' - which translates to 'Music for Falling Asleep'. 'Trio Ramberget' are an acoustic trio based around double bass, trombone and bass clarinet, and based in Gothenburg they have previously released a variety of singles, EP's and one album last year entitled 'Slattermyren', which is available on Spotify. With a background in jazz and classical music their approach to music writing is based around

Svavar Knútur - 'Ahoy! Side A' (album)

Similarly to Sara Forslund, we last wrote about Svavar Knútur a few years back - in 2015 when he released his album ‘Brot (The Breaking)'. The Icelandic singer songwriter from the Westernfjords has such a good reputation in his homeland, sadly (to our knowledge) he's yet to venture to the UK but we'll keep writing about him until some kindly UK festival promoter reads our ramblings and gives him a gig. Anyway his latest release is entitled 'Ahoy! Side A' and it contains 5 brand new releases, as well as 4 older songs, which he quaintly calls 'repainted', which I rather like. The new songs have a more 'developed' sound than previous tracks I've listened to, but like the songs written in 'Brot

'Sara Forslund' - 'Summer is Like A Swallow' (album)

Hopefully our longer term readers will remember that we've written about Sara Forslund a few times, most notably when she released her beautiful 2015 album 'Water Became Wild', which was followed up by a rather successful (even if we say so ourselves...) Nordic Music Review organised gig at the lovely Nordic Church in Liverpool - we must consider going back there at some point. Anyway it has taken her rather longer than any of us would have wanted to release her follow up 'Summer is Like a Swallow', but it arrived in the latter parts of 2018 and we're delighted to (finally) write about it. I must admit I was slightly nervous when I was first sent notes on the new album, which suggested that

Coming Soon..... Album Reviews...

Coming soon.... a longish Sara Forslund album review, and slightly shorter reviews of Svavar Knutur and the Michael Vestbo trio too...

'Folke Nikanor' - 'Bottenviken' (album)

I don't like to make excuses or point fingers of blame at people who've created even greater delays to our already highly inefficient music writing process (well other than Moddi, Kalandra, Rami Vierula and all of Major Parkinson obviously...), but the lack of Album reviews in November and December is entirely the fault of Swedish musician 'Folke Nikanor'. His album 'Bottenviken' has remained so firmly sat in the midst of my 'Album Reviews' playlist that I've simply not wanted to listen to anything else. But I guess I need to move on slowly, so hopefully writing a review and getting everyone else to start listening will start the process of getting to other music for a while.. We featured '

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