Simen Mitlid - 'Everything is the Same'
We've reached September, which sadly pretty much signals the end of summer for us in the UK, but also when the number of new music releases really starts to ramp up. Today there are a few excellent releases from Norway, we'll inevitably come back to the epic Major Parkinson single 'Blackbox' later, but firstly Simen Mitlid has released a charming album today, entitled 'Everything is the Same'.
If truth be told, we should have covered Simen Mitlid previously, and its typically remiss of us that we haven't. So for those of you who are unaware, he's a singer songwriter from Oslo, and he released his debut EP 'While We Wait' in 2015, and its a nicely written EP which is well worth you all checking out if you have chance. He's now recorded a full length album, which have had a number of pre-release singles over the last few months, and the album should get him the recognition that he really deserves.
'Everything stays the Same' is in it's entirety a lovely album, and straight from the opening of 'I Don't Care' you should get a warm glow of re-asurrance that this is well written music, with a delicately written acoustic guitar, a bobbing bass line, and playful harmonies that carry the first track forward. 'Vacation' is a real highlight, with some warm instrumentation through the use of a cello and the track builds with a beautiful crescendo to big instrumental chorus, and the cut to the soft vocals (and handclapping) reminds me of Sufjan Stevens.
I love the lyrics in the melancholy 'Two Days', which opens in a stripped back format before the musical themes are expanded, whilst the pre-album released 'Competition' has an attractive flowing melody, and a catchy chorus to enjoy. The album continues with a similar upbeat melodic theme in 'Sleeping', a joyous 3 minutes of indie pop that will happily sit on any playlist, whilst he then returns to his more thoughtful introspective style of writing in 'St Hanshaugen', with another track that builds to a huge instrumental climax, and a genuine 'goosebump' moment. The title track 'Everything is the Same' is a lovely conclusion, simple enough sounding, but the strength here is not just in the songwriting, but in the vocals, which offer a real delicacy in their delivery.
I rarely write albums on the day of release, i need weeks to get to know and understand them, and I'm so looking forward to carrying around this album with me over the next few months, and thinking through both the lyrics and musical themes. But already this release has had such a positive effect, the songs are well constructed and intricately written with different shades of darkness and light, and always with finely judged instrumentation which demonstrate subtlety as well as some richly textured sections. Simen Mitlid is a songwriter with a lovely natural ability to write expressive and thoughtful songs and 'Everything is the Same' is a real success, music and words to get totally absorbed and lost in.