Writing about Jon-Oliv Woxlin earlier reminded me of another artist who's music has been happily sitting on our internal listening playlists for months without us ever doing a review. Ramasjang are yet another band from Bergen, and whilst sadly they don't seem to have any obvious Major Parkinson connections like last weeks featured band from that city 'kathinka', they are a band with interesting originality and style, and we're delighted to belatedly introduce you to their 'Salutogenesis' EP.
The EP opens with 'Flipside', and straight away you'll witness a variety of influences - indie, hip-hop and even (unless I'm imagining it) some reggae style beats, and it relies on synths to carry the music through. However it was the 2nd track 'Steal' that made an immediate and obvious impression, and it is very different to 'Flipside', with delicate acoustic guitar, glockenspiel and a subtle cello adding some depth to the arrangements. Throughout it all, Andreas Kvåle Myksvoll high ranged vocals offer something quite different from the norm, and whilst I accept that they might not be for everyone, I think they work well - at least in a recorded format.
'Stella' has a church organ choral style opening, and again the tracks strength is the big vocal melody, and and after all, any band who have an apparent effortless ability to write great tunes have a pretty decent chance of success. In 'Smile' we're offered huge synths, and actually this track wouldn't be out of place on a pretty big festival stage, whilst the slightly more unusual 'The Queen' wraps up the EP, and that track also has a distinctness that garbs my attention.
I really like this band, as I think they have that 'something', with big melodies, quirky instrumentation and a willingness to strike out in a slightly different direction to everyone else. OK so maybe the huge difference in styles between tracks such as 'Steal' and 'Smile' leaves me wondering where they might end up musically, or whether they will continue to cross boundaries with their music writing. And I thought when the EP was originally sent to me that it would be picked up by countless music blogs (I certainly haven't noticed that's the case yet), but this is clearly still relatively early days for Ramasjang, and I hope you will see that same 'something' as I do.