January Round Up: Albums / EP's
I've no idea if I'll keep this up every month, but to wrap up January, here's some of the Albums and EP's that I didn't have time to write about in detail. There’s a lot of info here, so I’m really sorry for any mistakes.
Skott - 'A Letter from the Universe' (EP)
I'm starting with Skott simply because it gives me an opportunity to showcase the amazing artwork that always compliments her releases. Musically 'A Letter from the Universe' is well worth checking out too, with her quirky, catchy and charismatic songwriting making this a really easy, enjoyable listen.
Kate Havnevik - 'Lightship' (Album)
Norwegian composer and musician Kate Havnevik released 'Lightship' on 21st January (in writing collaboration with Guy Sigsworth), the latest chapter in her varied musical career which has seen her perform in punk bands, compose film scores, and most recently complete songs for the Finnish children's film 'Silhja'. 'Lightship' fuses many of those musical interests and influences (not so much of the punk to be fair...) in a rich, varied cinematic style release.
Teini-Pää - 'Maailma kyllä odottaa' (Album)
Unfortunately I didn't have chance to write in detail about the the new album 'Maailma kyllä odottaa' from Finnish band Teini-Pää, there were just too many other releases that week, but it's great fun. Fusing together noise rock / catchy post punk and even some fuzzy shoegaze, the 5 piece just have this natural enthusiasm that shines through in their music, and the album is well worth listening to.
Thom Hell - 'Today is Tomorrow' (Album)
As expected the latest Thom Hell release is a sophisticated and substantial album which benefits from interestingly arranged instrumentation throughout. With influences from 60's pop and 70's prog, this is somewhat incredibly his 10th album, and highlights include opener 'When You're Not Around' (with a hint of John Grant), 'See the Sun' and the elegant 'Hold on to Me' - although my favourite is probably the lovely 'How Long'.
MØ - Motordrome (Album)
Danish synth-pop singer MØ returned in January with her 3rd album, the blazing and undoubtedly powerful 'Motordrome', an album that I'm sure will be appreciated by many, if not entirely by me. Opener 'Kindness' is probably the highlight for me, before most of the album's personality gets sucked out of it by overly bland production.
Mt. Mélodie - Bric-à-brac (Album)
Norwegian band Mt. Mélodie returned with an instrumental release, which I think started as somewhat of a lockdown project for founder and multi-instrumentalist Thomas Meidall. It's pretty different from previous releases (check out the excellent 'Blurred Lens' EP) but still an enjoyable listen. Also listening to this will send you down a warren of directly and indirectly related indie bands from Ludvig Moon to Team Me to The Hallway (what happened to them?), and even the remarkable Trollfest.
Tara Nome Doyle - Værmin (Album)
I've included Norwegian / Irish (but Berlin based) singer Tara Nome Doyle on our playlist a couple of times, and her new album 'Værmin' is a cleverly constructed release that on the surface is about the smaller and unappreciated animals on our planet, but of course dig deeper and you'll find more than worms. Really interesting release that I still look forward to getting to know even better.
Divest - 'Moments of Ease' (EP)
Norwegian 4 piece Divest have released an EP entitled 'Moments of Ease' that I also really enjoyed listening to. Instinctively they probably sit in the same sphere as fellow countrymen Pelicat, who can also write a really good indie pop song, and the new EP is well worth checking out from the quirky and catchy 'Speed of Light', to the expansive 'Symbolic Calypso' and the subtle 'The Strangest Things'.
Also worth checking out is the new EP from Norwegian composer Erik Myhr, a chamber pop release entitled 'Wait for it... Vol 1', whilst Mikko Heino released his 'Covid-19 Diaries' early in January. Meanwhile Finnish project Liljankukka released an EP entitled 'Aasla'
Noisier stuff includes the EP from Danish band Loose Ends entitled 'Yearning for Something Else', duo Brenn. released an album, Sonika Howl from Sweden released a self titled EP, whilst Scottish / Danish band Gatsby released an album entitled 'Seasonal Changes in a Mundane World'. The well written new EP from Swedish band Beachheads is also worth a listen, whilst Norwegian Black Metal band Minneriket released a new album if you really like it loud and intense.
There was also a very welcome return for Norwegian stalwarts deLillos, with their album 'Evige dager', another Norwegian songwriter Helven released an EP 'Volume 1' and Finnish band Ruusut released their '12' EP'.
Enough. Apologies for any mistakes.