NMR Album / EP Round Up (volume 2):
So the number of new album releases has really spiked in the last week, and there's absolutely no chance of getting detailed reviews of every Nordic release. There's some really good albums in the list below, so please try and give them some of your listening time:
Jon-Olov Woxlin - 'Let It All In and Let it All Go' (album)
It disappoints that we haven't got more time to write in detail on Jon-Olov Woxlin;s latest release 'Let It All In and Let it All Go', because his follow up to the nicely written 'Act Aloof' is a highly entertaining series of songs and stories, all written in Woxlin's familiar Country influenced style. I'll never tire of his lyrics, some of which tell the most descriptive stories ('The Cowardly Kill of William Buck'), whilst some should be written into a constitution somewhere - I love 'Jaded' in particular. There's some great guitar playing to enjoy too (as in 'Don't Despair' and 'I Digress'), so please check out the album if you have chance.
SUNDAYS - Wiaca (album)
Danish neo-folk project 'SUNDAYS' (not to be confused with the Swedish band 'The Sun Days', whom we featured some time back') is based around the talents of musician Magnus Jacobsen, and their album 'Wiaca' is a stylish, well written and weighty release which is both powerful and personal in delivery. It feels like the 3rd or 4th album by a really established band, rather than a debut (although it's been trailed by numerous singles), which is probably a testament to the songwriting talents of Jacobsen. Highlights include the lyrically interesting 'Avalanche', the sweeping 'Afternoon Wakes' and the reflective 'Don't Call Me Jesus'.
'I Think We're Poets' - Bumpy Ride (album)
We first featured 'I Think We're Poets' in the earliest days of Nordic Music Review, and their welcome return in 2019 sees the release of 'Bumpy Ride', 9 Indie Pop tracks from the Swedish solo project. I like relatively DIY projects like this, it reminds me so much of the brilliant 'The School Book Depository', and the highlight in 'Bumpy Ride' is definitely 'Silent Spring', a sensitive acoustic driven track with thoughtful reflective lyrics and a lovely melody, but title track 'Bumpy Ride' makes a positive impression too.
Novel-Fae - 'Rural States' (album)
We wrote about 'Novel-Fae' earlier last year when they released the single 'Coalesce', and the lo-fi alternative jazz influenced folk rock group from Sweden have now released an album entitled 'Rural States', a personal and intimate set of songs, which as I expected, will probably take a good few months to really sink in. There is a real preciseness in every note and word, with some particularly thoughtful lyrics. Take a listen to the title track 'Rural States', I love the contrasts of sound when the full band open up, and also check out songs such as the lovely 'Cerulean (Leaving Akihabara').
Sandy Blue - Off You Go (album)
Danish 7 piece band 'Sandy Blue' are, I admit, a name completely new to me, but their debut album 'Off You Go' has just been released, and it's another mature sounding album from a band who aren't afraid to mix their influences and styles to produce something individual and interesting, but actually pretty easy to listen to as well. I've listened to this album a few times this week, and it's continued to grow on me, with the groovy 'Son of a Need' making a quick impression, whilst I love the complexity of sound in 'Soul Raver (that's straight on to my personal playlist) and 'Toss Away Fire' is a catchy track to start with too.
We'll have more detailed Album reviews next week, as well as a new band introduction this weekend.