I know I keep saying stuff like this, but it's just so lovely to be able to get up early in the UK and start the day by writing about lovely new music - it's simply a real privilege. Norwegian composer and now songwriter Aleksander Waaktaar is our next introduction, and whilst it's unlikely that many of our UK / US readers will have heard about him, he's developed a reputation with his compositions and arrangements through his work with the Oslo Philharmonic, the Norwegian Radio Orchestra (KORK) and an outfit I haven't come across before, the Arctic Philharmonic - I need to go and check them out. He was even nominated for the Norwegian grammys in 2019 for his orchestration work on 'Heights of the Reeds'.
Now straying into songwriting territory, he's written an album due to be released in April, from which his new single 'All Wrong' is the title track. The basis of the songwriting is definitely quite 'traditional' folk, but you can definitely hear the classical and jazz influences in his writing, maybe that's due to the chord progressions, and the subtle instrumental arrangements that sit behind the guitar and vocals - just listen to the 1st few seconds and you'll hopefully hear what I mean. But I guess it's the vocals that are the biggest surprise, a lovely quiet, reflective and slightly melancholy tone, but always reassuring too, whilst the stripped back nature of the song allows the thoughtfully expressed words to get our full attention. 'All Wrong' is a beautifully judged song melodically, lyrically and instrumentally.
Take a listen here:
Aleksander Waaktaar released one other track at the start of the year entitled 'She Really Doesn't Love You', so please check both songs out when you have chance. He's also playing a gig in May in Oslo, for more details please visit his Facebook page.