Moddi 🇳🇴 - ‘Bråtebrann’ (Album)
There’s a big business close to me with huge security fences, patrolling security guards / dogs, cameras and enough warning signs to discourage the bravest of intruders. But what’s it guarding. Gold? World leading nanochips? Food even? Nope, it’s a landfill waste site. Exactly what has been deposited deep down in the landfill will probably never be known (aside from whistleblower emails which suggest arsenic, toxic zinc, rat poison etc), and we don’t know the real long term health consequences to the community either, we just know that it stinks. Literally.
I mention this simply because Moddi appears to consider similar issues in his new album ‘Bråtebrann’. It’s the 1st written he’s written with Norwegian lyrics since 2013, and the positive reaction it seems to be getting back in Norway demonstrates how respected both his music and activism is in his home country - the two elements very much go hand in hand. He’s currently undertaking a mammoth Norwegian tour, albeit in an electric car obviously.
Of course the Norwegian lyrics might not make this album quite as accessible for UK audiences as previous releases, but hopefully everyone will take a listen, it’s lovely music and the issues he writes about are clearly relevant irrespective of where you live. It was the concluding track ‘Ute av syne, Ute av sinn’ (‘Out of sight, Out of mind’) that really hit home to me, written about how simple things become “when we just don't have to relate to it” whether that be animal welfare, unseen fish, or a landfill site that we never realised was dangerous until it was too late to stop it damaging people’s health.
“I'm not against all kinds of industry, but I think it's worth thinking about that almost everything gets easier when it happens behind barbed wire fences…” suggested Moddi on his Facebook page… “under high ceilings, far to the sea, far north or in other places where people don't necessarily look. That in itself should be a danger sign”.
But please don’t think that ‘Bråtebrann‘ is ‘heavy work’, packed full of long lectures on what we should or shouldn’t be doing (at least I don’t think so, with my limited language skills), ‘Totoms-fire’, a homage to his Dad, has a light feel to it, accompanied by flowing strings and a jaunty melody, whilst ‘I det blå ‘ is a real highlight and centrepiece of the track, an impassioned 7 minutes which opens up with a dirty electric guitar sound, that just adds to the intensity. ‘Tranøy fyr’ is a sensational song, whilst the previously featured ‘Kom heim’ has a simplicity to it that makes it really listenable.
Of course perhaps I should suggest (they are extremely litigious after all) that the company I reference might not be dumping highly toxic waste in the landfill by me anyway, maybe deep underground they’re decontaminating and somehow recycling all the toxins into renewable energy, or fluffy toys. Getting to the truth of these things is half the challenge of course, but ’Bråtebrann‘ is a reminder that there are still musicians out there that are willing to have sensible, honest discussions about the really important issues, and we’ll always listen to Moddi.