We had a spell a few years back of being able to introduce Nordic musicians (mostly Norwegian) studying in the UK, and it’s been great to see how they’ve progressed since then – from I See Rivers debut single through to TV appearances and full UK tours, and watching Kalandra support slots through to full EP launches.
Norwegian musician Adrian Vikan is currently based in Leeds (home to one of the best UK Indie venues ‘Brudenell Social Club’), and his debut single ’Taxi’ was released through streaming services at the end of last year, an alternative rock song heavily influenced by some psych and prog rock bands of yesteryear – but to be clear, this is interesting prog rock, as opposed to some of the deathly dull, turgid prog rock nonsense I sometimes find myself coming across.
So he describes himself as a ‘multi-instrumentalist’, which I always like to hear, and on this new track he plays drums, bass and guitar. However he is a drummer by trade, and previously was playing with a Norwegian band called ‘Brahman Experience’, who have an album entitled ‘Sandbox’ that was released earlier last year, and which has a few interesting instrumental moments.
As I indicated earlier, ‘Taxi’ isn’t afraid to show Adrian Vikan’s influences, which range from Norwegian psychedelic prog band Motorpsycho, Jethro Tull through to the greatest of them all, Cardiacs, the band of fadeless splendour itself. A subdued opening bursts into life with thudding guitar riffs and then a plaintive melancholy vocal sets out an attractive melody before the contrast of those guitars hits home again. The shared vocal duties between Isaak Saeheim Pedersen, Tonje Merkesdal and Vikan himself work well, but the appeal to me is in the dynamics changes, the explosions of instrumental sound, as well as the occasional subtle instrumental touches, such as the piano.
'Taxi' is an impressive debut, which doesn't sound like it's 'work in progress'. Clearly the style of music he writes is up to him, but I hope he doesn’t get too lost in ‘old prog’, there are bands who are still proud of those influences but head off in far more innovative and exciting directions. He hopes to complete an EP by the end of 2020, and we look forward to hearing it.
You can find him on Instagram