Album of the Week: Ida Wenøe - 'The Things We Don't Know Yet'

Regular readers will be used to delays to our album reviews, normally caused by constraints of time and general hapless disorganisation, however sometimes writing about albums which are that little bit special simply take a bit longer. And Ida Wenøe's album 'The Things We Don't Know Yet' isn't the type of album that anyone can really take in after one listen, because there's so many lovely subtle details in both the music and the lyrics that will take that bit longer to understand and appreciate - but I promise you that if you invest the time in it, you will really treasure all 9 tracks. We have written about Ida Wenøe before of course, both in relation to previous visits to the UK and in ad

'Moon Loves Honey' - 'Oceanbird' (video)

We have an 'Ida Wenøe' album review coming later today, but firstly we just wanted to write about another Danish project 'Moon Loves Honey', who've released a lovely video to a track called 'Oceanbird'. Similarly to one of Ida Wenoe's tracks in particular this has really reminded me of 'my favourite place' (a tiny beach in Devon where can only be accessed via foot..) and there's a lovely animated video that tells the story behind it - in this case the escape to the coast of Aarhus by a young glassblower. 'Moon Loves Honey' are a dream pop band we haven't featured before, they're from Aarhus and behind the project is musician Jeppe Dengsø, who writes the songs. They released an album entitled

'Elvar' -'Daydreaming' (album)

We were going to publish a short write up of Icelandic singer-songwriter 'Elvar's new single on Wednesday, this week but I so enjoyed listened to the whole album that I thought we should expand our feature slightly. His new(ish) release 'Daydreaming' is a warm, interesting and well written album which takes folk, pop and rock influences from across the last few decades, and whilst I doubt anyone would claim that he's forged groundbreaking musical genres in the process, I really think that everyone will enjoy all 10 tracks that comprise the release. So 'Daydreaming' is 'Elvar's' debut album, which saw the light of day in the last couple of months, and he only released his debut single back in

Introducing...'Astral Brain' with track 'From Above'

We were going to try and finish our Ida Wenøe album review tonight, but we’ll take the weekend to complete that, and instead bring the week to a conclusion with a new band that only came to our attention in the last few days. 'Astral Brain' are from Sweden and comprise 2 musicians who’ve joined together after years playing in their own projects, and the result is a bubbling, delightful debut release with irresistible vocal melodies - I’ve been listening to this continuously all day. Einar Ekström (previously of Le Futur Pompiste) founded the band, but it was after meeting with Siri Af Burén (Testbild!, Band In Box, Vit Päls) in 2015 that things took shape, as it’s her vocals and lyrics whic

Camilo Beltran - 'Da' (single)

We wrote about Norwegian / Chilean (Bergen based) musician Camilo Beltran in March last year when he released a track entitled 'You and I', he's a thoughtful and expressive songwriter who already has a lovely collection of songs online to discover. The good news is that he is back and will be releasing an album entitled 'Wonder' in September, and that he's also planning on heading to the UK to do some live gigs too - which we will definitely try and get to see. The album interestingly is written with a mix of English, Norwegian and Spanish language songs, and the first of the songs to be released is in Norwegian. The song is entitled 'Da', and it is an intense and melancholy track which desc

Album of the Week: 'Melby' - 'None of this makes me worry'

We just have so many really good album releases from the last 2 weeks to cover, so we'll try and keep our reviews succinct, and we'll start with a release which is already a real favourite even though it's only been out for a short while. 'Melby' are from Sweden and their release through Rama Lama Records is a nonchalant journey into a psychedelic Indie Pop world where everything is easy on the ear, melodically appealing and always varied and interesting. They're a 4 piece band who've made an impression since 2016 when they released 'Human' as a single, and after coverage in international music blogs and on radio they established themselves further with European concert dates, some impressiv

'Einar Stray Orchestra' - 'Hot Salted Wind' (single)

We're really looking forward to getting stuck into an array of good album releases (Ida Wenøe, Melby, maybe Elvar and ViVii also if we have chance), but first we're delighted to introduce a brand new single from one of our favourite bands. 'Einar Stray Orchestra' should be familiar to regular Nordic Music Review readers having been featured a fair few times, with their 3 albums 'Dear Bigotry, 'Politricks' and 'Chiaroscuro' all being real favourites, with simply hundreds of live performances all over Europe (including Manchester), and with their close connections with other favourite Norwegian musicians and projects such as Moddi and 'Team Me'. Anyway the latest release from the project is en

Frederik Magle - 'Den Hemmelige Have' (The Secret Garden')

I had hoped I could 'sneak' in a write up of 'Frederik Magle's' new composition 'The Secret Garden' on Easter Sunday, but it didn't prove possible, although I still feel it would have been an appropriately reflective track for that day. Magle is a Danish composer we've written about before, last July in fact, when he released his piece for two trumpets and an organ entitled 'The Fairest of Roses', and he's a successful composer who has written for Danish Royal Family, and has seen his compositions performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra as well as the Danish National Symphony Orchestra. His new release is 'The Secret Garden', and touchingly its written specifically for the patients of

On a short break...

...just for a few days as we approach Easter, but we'll be back soon with an Ida Wenøe album review. In the meantime here's the greatest of 'pop' tracks from Major Parkinson to keep you entertained. And don't forget that those of you in the UK can see them in London on 2nd and 3rd May.

'Mindsong' with track 'Be Still My Heart'

We always quote the amazing Tim Smith when he said simply 'it's all about the tunes innit', and Swedish musician 'Mindsong' proves that with his song 'Be Still My Heart', which is the most expressive of ballads and which just stuck in my mind so immediately that I felt we should share it with everyone. Firstly we should introduce him as we've not written about him before, and behind 'Mindsong' is musician 'Henrik Johansson' from Habo in Jönköping County (a place I don't think we've not mentioned before either), and he lists his influences as 'Impressions, expressions, poems, feet and Beethoven', which I rather like - apart from maybe the feet. He's released a few tracks over the course of th

'Pale Moon' -'Dust of Days' EP

I do sometimes regret the restrictions of a 'Nordic' music site, because I want us to write about singer songwriters from Chile, and post rock bands from China, there really shouldn't be any boundaries to whom we feature, but the music world is so vast it would be unmanageable, and thankfully Nordic artists often collaborate with musicians from outside the region to make these pages less confined. 'Pale Moon' are an Icelandic / Russian duo that feature musician Árni Guðjónsson and Natasha Sushchenko, and their debut EP 'Dust of Days' is a melodic indie dream pop release of 3 tracks, with appealing harmonies and an upbeat sensibility. The story behind 'Pale Moon' is really interesting, becaus

'Benedikt' - new single 'Paper Mache'

We'll have an EP review from Icelandic / Russian duo 'Pale Moon' in a while but we wanted to start the day with another introduction to a band we haven't featured before. 'Benedikt' have been on our radar for a while, but it was actually their inclusion on the line-up for our favourite small music festival 'Indiefjord' which gave us the nudge to make sure we wrote about them as soon as we had the chance. So 'Benedikt' started as the solo project of musician Hans Olav Settems solo project, but quickly grew members and now has 9 Norwegians musicians working on the folk influenced project which should soon see the release of their debut album entitled 'Communal Work' and which they claim is aki

'Introducing... 'Frydstads Markiser' with track 'Skinny Kids'

We had a bumper edition of new releases on Friday, and today there are 2 more official releases, unusual for a Monday these days, but still welcomed. The first comes from a really interesting musician from Tromsø, and who writes under the name of Frydstads Markiser - behind this name is the producer and songwriter Jørgen Frydstad. His new track 'Skinny Kids' was sent though on a particularly busy day of submissions a couple of weeks ago, and it just stood out immediately. It is undoubtedly lo-fi, 'bedroom pop' in a way, but actually it has this clever sophisticated charm about it too - it just wouldn't sound the same on a bigger production and budget. The song has a languid guitar opening, b

'The Flavians' - new single 'Silver Car'

So there's loads of new music online (we recommend the new track from 'Moron Police'), but still wanted to squeeze in a few words about the new(ish) single from 'European' band 'The Flavians'. We wrote about the 50% Swedish, 25% Czech and 25% British project (but based in Germany) a few months back when they released a charming if dark humoured song called 'Non Stop Fun (All I Wanted') about the poor office worker who lost everything in one day, and a couple of weeks ago they released a new song entitled 'Silver Car'. 'Silver Car' is a another endearing if slightly sad story from the quartet, who write slightly retro pop songs with likeable harmonised melodies, and this one tells the 'coming

'Moron Police' - new single 'The Phantom Below'

We've covered quite a varied selection of new Nordic music today, from the debut EP by the rather unusual Finnish trio 'Ocelot' to the new album by Swedish band 'Insaunas', but I have no idea how, because all day we've had this huge distraction weighing on our shoulders - no, not the lunacy of Brexit for once, but simply the release of the new single by Bergen quartet 'Moron Police' - it's entitled 'The Phantom Below' and quite simply, it's utterly marvellous. I'm not sure that many UK readers will have come across 'Moron Police' before, but they are well established in particular as a live outfit back in Norway, having played at festivals as Fjellparkfestivalen, the Norway Rock Festival, an

'Ocelot' - 'Mä voin ottaa sun ikävän pois' (EP)

We're covering a fair amount of musical ground today, and we're delighted to introduce you to 'Ocelot', a Finnish trio who've released their debut EP today, 12th April, and it's entitled 'Mä voin ottaa sun ikävän pois', which possibly translates to 'What Can I Take Away', but maybe don't take our word for it. I'll describe it as unconventional alternative pop, based around piano and some fairly extraordinary vocals, and whilst at first I thought I might only be able to handle it all in small quantities, I've now had it on repeat all afternoon - it's addictive and charming. The EP released through the Soliti label, which is pretty much a guarantee of high quality too. So 'Ocelot' comprise 3

Introducing... 'FUSHIA' with new single 'Dreams & Stardust'

If truth be told this is a slightly belated introduction to Danish duo 'FUSHIA' because we were going to write about them a couple of months back, but thankfully we're catching up on ourselves now, and we're delighted to bring you their brand new single 'Dreams & Stardust' which is released just today - and whilst we're here, we'll point you in the direction of the video for their last single entitled 'Transparent Girls' which was released a few weeks ago. So 'FUSHIA' comprise twin sisters Mathilde & Nathalie, but they write their music from their different bases as Mathilde lives in Stockholm, whilst Nathalie is down the road from here in London. I think they're going to make a pretty big

Album of the Week: 'Insaunas' - 'We Brought Some Days Back'

We have so much to cover this might only be a shortish review of 'Insaunas', but I definitely wanted to feature them, because 'We Brought Some Days Back' is the type of Indie album that we really appreciate at Nordic Music Review, and it's clearly been a labour of love over many years - and I know all albums are like that, but there's something unusual about this album that appeals to me, and makes it stand out from the norm. So 'Insaunas' are from Sweden, and they consist of 4 musicians, Pontus Lindskogen, Axel Nelson, Max Bredberg and Arvid Nelson, 3 of whom have been working together for 4 years - Arvind joined more recently). Starting with demo tapes, they slowly and painstakingly exper

'Hush Forever' - 'About A Boy' (single / video)

We will have a couple of album reviews later, but there are a really good collection of releases hitting today, and one song and video which has really captured our attention is from Swedish songwriter 'Hush Forever'. The former member of ambient duo 'Flipside' has this ability to write the most intimate music, and his latest song 'About A Boy' is just so personal, but also so delightfully written. It's the second part of his "Ann-Ki And Her Son" series, where the musician behind Hush Forever, Sebastian Lilja, tells stories from his 'personal and unfiltered life'. Whilst the first song focussed on the death of his mother from cancer, this song reflects on his thoughts on growing up and his o

'Gentle Ivanhoe Death Skulls' - 'Cedric' (single)

It's Friday, the sun is (almost) shining, and it seems like a good day for a bumper selection of new Nordic music, covering every style and genre we can manage. We'll start off with the Swedish band 'Gentle Ivanhoe Death Skulls' that we wrote about late in 2017 (was it really that long ago...?), and write music in a psychedelic shoegaze style, where the appeal to me is simply the great sound that the guitars, drums and assorted instruments make. Straight form the start of their new single 'Cedric' you can hear that influence from bands like the 'Jesus and Mary Chain' and others from a similar era, and the thing I like about 'Gentle Ivanhoe Death Skulls', other than the name, is that they ha

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