In Short: 'Highasakite' - 'Can I Be Forgiven' (from 'The Bare Romantic, Pt. 1)

We're working on another music initiative this week, so just offering some quick updates on new releases we've missed in recent weeks. 'Highasakite' are obviously one of the highest profile Norwegian names, and we featured their excellent 'Uraniam Heart' album release not many months ago. But after the completion of that album they still had more songs they wanted to record, and they're doing that via a 2 part release of another album entitled 'The Bare Romantic', part 1 of which was released last week. The lead track off this 4 track release is the excellent 'Can I Be Forgiven', thoughtful alternative pop which can be appreciated by everyone, no matter what type of music you normally prefe

'Benedikt' - 'Pope Francis' (single)

We wrote about 'Benedikt' earlier this year when they released their track 'Paper Mache', and we were going to write about their debut album 'Communal Work', but things got a bit complicated at the end of May. Most bands release albums and then disappear into hibernation for a couple of years whilst they recover and start the writing process again, but not 'Benedikt'. The group of 9 indie folk musicians that loosely comprise the band are clearly all prolific writers and arrangers and their new single 'Pope Francis' is, rather remarkably, the new single from their 2nd album, which they plan to release in 2020. The foundation for 'Pope Francis' was written by songwriter Hans Olav Settems (who

In Short: 'The Stillwalkers' - 'Concrete Heart' (single)

Whilst we work on 'other things' this week we're getting straight to the point and bringing you up to date with some latest Nordic releases, and today it's the turn of our favourite Finnish melody makers 'The Stillwalkers' who have released a new single entitled 'Concrete Heart. Now we know we always enthusiastic about these guys, but their latest single is quite possibly their best release yet, an intense 6 minutes which builds to the most glorious vocal 'climax' just at precisely 4 mins 20 when we're told not to look over our shoulders. We need to try and find out when (and where...) their new album release concert will be and see if it's at all practical to get over and see it.... it pro

In Brief: 'Back of House' - new single 'Streetfood Hero'

Due to another 'exciting musical project' in construction we're going to keep it short and sweet this week, with just a few short band introductions whilst somehow skipping the entrée's, appetizers and desserts and heading straight to the main course. Swedish punk rock band 'Back of House' write entertaining and 'easily listening punk', which probably isn't a thing but by which I mean the tunes are distinguishable and you could almost get away with streaming it through the house without someone telling you not to - at least the tracks without the swearing. Oh and these guys only write about food and food industry related issues in their songs, which sounds rather extraordinary and well, is

In Short: 'Kalandra' - new video 'The Waiting Game'

It doesn't really seem like 5 years since we saw 'Kalandra' supporting Moddi at the 'Castle Hotel' in Manchester, or indeed first wrote about them, but this band have developed such a good reputation from those that have heard them, and it's such a privilege to have been able to follow their progress. The band, consisting of Katrine Ødegård Stenbekk, Florian Bernhard Döderlein Winter and Jogeir Daae Mæland. released their debut EP 'Beneath the Breaking Waves' back in 2017 and I'm pretty sure they're slowly working towards an album release at some point. Their latest video is 'The Waiting Game' and both musically and in the production it has an epic cinematic feel to it. It was filmed by, and

NMR Interview: 'Alba' from Ålesund chats about the band and their plans for new releases...!

We first came across Bristol band 'Ålesund' just over a year ago, and featured them this time last year when they released their single 'Shift and Flux'. We caught up with singer 'Alba' during a noisy soundcheck gig in Manchester, where we chatted about the bands roots, their connections to 'Extinction Rebellion' and forthcoming single: NMR: So firstly I have to ask, where did the name come from and can you give us the correct pronunciation? Alba: ''So it's pronounced 'Aw-le-sund'.. I'm half Norwegian, my Dad is from Norway and he was born and brought up in Ålesund', which is a really beautiful West Coast town and has a really unique atmospheric quality, and given that we have always aimed t

Heikki Rasilo - 'Sea Songs' (EP)

Well we've covered some slightly over enthusiastic anime prog rock ('Moron Police'), pretty perfect indie pop ('The Sideways') and some interesting and unusual electronica ('raudur'), so today we will feature an artist with a more traditional approach to songwriting. Heikki Rasilo is from Finland and we wrote about him back in early 2018 after coming across his EP from the previous year 'Before I'm Covered', which we liked for both the music and the artwork, and it's great to see him back 2 years on, this time with another EP entitled 'Sea Songs'. It's a simple enough title, of course, and one that has been used many times before, but that reflects the nature of EP - stories about individua

Introducing 'thirdcurl' with new track 'Ordinary Life'

We've somehow managed to get 2 album reviews in this week already, and we highly recommend them both, especially 'The Sideways', the excellent Norwegian band we covered yesterday. But the good news is that the new releases keep flooding in, and we're delighted to bring you a brand new track released just today. Danish artist 'thirdcurl' is brand new to Nordic Music Review, but in fairness he hasn't really released much material over the last couple of years - in fact since his 2017 release 'It's Christmas', which I guess could be described as an 'anti-song', and worth checking out even if it probably won't make your Disney Christmas playlist this year. Anyway 'thirdcurl' is a young artist of

'The Sideways' - Can’t Wait to Arrive Somewhere (album)

Clearly no-one would ever set up a band just to try and get a feature in Nordic Music Review (in fact, I'm pretty sure some bands have split up due to the shame of it), but if they did there is actually a pretty simple formula - give yourself an Indie sounding band name beginning with 'The', send us an already released album direct and not via a PR company, write melodic Indie Pop somewhere between the sound of 'Delay Trees' and 'Teenage Fanclub' and make sure the very first few seconds of the album have jangly guitars aplenty. Norwegian band 'The Sideways' have followed pretty much exactly the magic formula and their new album 'Can’t Wait to Arrive Somewhere' has become an immediate favour

rauður - 'Semilunar' (album)

We have a couple of long outstanding album reviews to bring you this week (apologies again to 'The Sideways'), but we wanted to write briefly about the debut album from Icelandic 'rauður', because this whilst we do love our 'Indie Pop' comfort food, her new album 'Semilunar' takes us into a different dimension completely, and the reality if that it'll probably take months to dissect and comprehend completely. So behind 'rauður' is the musician and producer Auður Viðarsdóttir, who hasn't released music as a solo performer until now, but was once part of an Icelandic indie band called Nóra, who I openly admit I hadn't heard of, but I've included the links to them at the bottom of this page - t

Introducing... 'Silveräpplen' with debut track 'Love Would Tear Us Apart'

We have another album review on its way (The Sideways), but whilst we recover from the aftershock of the new 'Moron Police' album we will change direction completely, courtesy of Swedish musician 'Silveräpplen'. We've been really looking forward to writing about this one, as we first heard 'Love Would Tear Us Apart' a couple of weeks ago, but it was actually only released last Friday. It's the first song to be released from a forthcoming EP rather nicely entitled "Pretentious Lofi Inc. EP'', which is due sometime in the next couple of months. Behind 'Silveräpplen' is the Gothenburg musician Simeon Pappinen Hillert, who has toured extensively with Swedish bands across Europe, and his debut E

'Moron Police' - 'A Boat on the Sea' (album)

To state the obvious, people are entitled to entertain themselves in pretty much any way that they choose. My Great Uncle Ivan (God rest his soul...) used to buy 3 flagons of 'Cripple Cock' Farmyard Scrumpy every Sunday morning, and settle down in the afternoon to watch 'Bullseye' and 'Little and Large' - and anyone attempting to interrupt his viewing would be subject to a barrage of unintelligible Devonian cursing. Now I realise that he wasn't exactly setting the entertainment threshold that high, but I can't deny that a few bottles of the old 'Cripple Cock' have been consumed myself in the last few weeks, because the new 'Moron Police' album is out, and 'A Boat on the Sea' is for me, prime

'St Bennett's' - 'Captain' ('The Devil Awaits' EP)

We really have to get working on an Album Review or two, but we'll offer up one more brand new single release, and it's from our old friends 'St. Bennett's', who may have got in our good books early on by pointing out they also loved 'Major Parkinson' (it's a guaranteed way of getting our attention) but have clearly been worthy of inclusion in their own right thanks to a great set of songs which comprise their 'The Devil Awaits' EP - an EP which is now completed thanks to the release of their latest song 'Captain', and which also concludes the rather dark tale told in the songs. So the story so far..... well the poor Farmer has lost his wife and daughter to the evils of war, sold his soul to

'Callus' - 'Lanterns' (single)

After the intense and dark sounds of 'Heathe', we'll switch direction completely and introduce a very different style of release, courtesy of Swedish indie trip-hop band 'Callus'. These guys are not only new to Nordic Music Review, but still relatively new as a band, having started in the summer of 2018, and with just a few tracks released, but they all seem to have made an impression, with a fair number of streams on Spotify and coverage in music blogs such as 'Come Here Floyd' - and those guys know a good tune when they hear one. Their latest song is 'Lanterns'', an irresistible track with laid back controlled beats, subtly infused electronica and vocals which set out a slightly melancholy

Tapetown Sessions: 'Heathe' - 'On the Tombstones; The Symbols Engraved' (excerpt)

We've been meaning to drop this in for the last couple of weeks, and after featuring a couple of radio friendly songwriters, it feels like a good time to balance that up with a really hard hitting, but totally engrossing track (or at least some of it) from Danish band 'Heathe', which was recorded as part of the 'Tapetown Sessions' which we've featured so regularly on these pages. So 'Heathe' are from 'Aalborg', and they're actually a fluid line-up based around project leader and singer Martin Pale. After releasing a demo back in 2016 on the Danish label Vaishyas they disappeared for 3 years before returning this year with the extraordinary 'On the Tombstones; The Symbols Engraved', a 41 minu

'Calle Hamre' - 'Different Tale'

We really need to get to some outstanding album reviews ('Moron Police' and 'The Sideways' in particular), but we really do have a great selection of tracks to feature over the next few days, and I really hope we can get to them all. We'll start with a lovely track from Norwegian songwriter 'Calle Hamre', which has a simple intent in many ways, but just oozes a melodic charm that I promise will brighten your Tuesday morning commute on these darkening mornings. So 'Calle Hamre' is another artist from Bergen, home to some of our favourite artists and bands (as well as 'Major Parkinson') and has been an integral part of the music community there for many years, playing with interesting indie ba

Day Felice - 'Medicine' (from album 'Go On')

We have so much to cram in over the next few days and promise we'll get through more than last week, and we'll start off with an upbeat track from yet another Swedish artist we haven't featured before. 'Day Felice' is songwriter with a softness of musical touch, chamber indie pop that is both elegant and easy on the ear, whilst at the same time being based upon complex musical and lyrical ideas. His new track 'Medicine' (from his debut album 'Go On') is a great example. So 'Day Felice' is a multi-talented artist, who first came to prominence as an actor (including HBO’s “Vikings”) , but actually he has years of piano training behind him, followed by experience of playing with other musical

'Frederik Magle' - new track 'Lux Aeterna'

I don't know what it's like overseas, but in our confused and despotic little 'Kingdom' things are rather murky right now, and not just because of the dark mornings and wild weather conditions. Whether some contemplative early morning Frederik Magle will help rationalise things more clearly I guess depends on the listener, but for me I'd much rather wake up to his music than force myself to listen to the latest 24 hour news outpourings - especially when the topic for his new composition 'Lux Aeterna' is rather appropriately that of 'hope' and 'the eternal light'. We have of course featured Frederik Magle previously, a Danish composer with a very impressive biography and set of releases. I ap

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