NMR Tracks of the Week - 17/10/21
llawgne - ‘Oh Juliana’.
Who likes Juliana Hatfield? Everyone? Good, well Swedish musician llagwne (Mathias Engwall) likes her so much that he wrote a song named after her. ‘Oh Juliana’ is the 3rd and final single before the release of his debut album, which is entitled ‘Nevereveries’ and due in 2 weeks. Dream pop for those of us who grew up on a diet of grunge, guitars and 90’s shoegaze - Curve, Belly… and of course Juliana Hatfield.
The School Book Depository - ‘A Layman’s a guide to Postmodernism‘
Fellow Swedish musician Fredrik Solfors has taken a slightly different approach in the run up to the new album for his project The School Book Depository, as ‘A Layman’s Guide to Postmodernism’ is about the 8th from the forthcoming release. I find myself repeating the
same thing about Solfors' songwriting, because he truly is amongst the best out there, and his latest track again demonstrates this again, a gentle song with cutting lyrics that highlight those that are drawn towards conspiracy theories and then take on the role of promoting them to their own band of followers: "I heard this guy talk on the radio... he claims that Satan runs the government, seems like a cool idea to gather round". I'm looking forward to the album release, even if I have heard most of it already.
A Mess - ‘Blame is a Dye’.
If The School Book Depository are an ‘old favourite’, then A Mess are an immediate new favourite, courtesy of EP 'Woman', which was released last week. Behind the name is Danish musician Dorte Hartmann and she's described as a 'one-badass-woman armed with an electric guitar', with the EP packed full of personality, tunes and riotous guitars. Highlight for me is 'Blame is a Dye', this is music written 'on the edge', but still great fun too. Would love to see her live.
Anna Leone - ‘Do You Ever’
Swedish musician Anna Leone is probably the polar opposite to A Mess, and I'd love to write about her new album at some point, but for now just enjoy the calm of just one lovely track from that debut release. Leone is the most assured of songwriters and the album 'I've Felt All These Things' is an expressive release which listeners will easily connect to. 'Do You Ever' is an excellent example, beautifully written and arranged. Just such a privilege to be able to share music like this.
Disharmonikerna - ‘Disharmonikerna’
I hadn't come across Disharmonikerna previously, but in fairness to me their new album ’Ensamma bland människor’ (translates broadly to ‘alone amongst people’) is their long awaited follow up to 1994 release ‘Nattens Profitörer’. Interesting release this, musically it feels quite dark at times, and there’s a depth too to the sound that makes me think perhaps of some vast Nordic wilderness, which is probably not very helpful given the album really isn’t about that. I’m probably missing a little lyrically as it’s written in Swedish, but it’s an album worth checking out.
Ásgeir - Öldurótið
Icelandic artist Ásgeir has also turned to his native language with a release of the track ‘Öldurótið‘, the original Icelandic version of the ’The Sky Is Painted Gray Today’, which was released not too long back. It tells the story of an old man walking by the ocean and seeing a boat flighting stormy waves, all very Icelandic in the imagery, and beautifully delivered by the artist, as we’ve come to expect.
Dolorofics - ‘Terror & Sorrow’
Back to Sweden finally and previously featured Dolorifics are back with a new track entitled 'Terror & Sorrow', a follow up to their 2020 album 'Welcome to Dolograd'. A real true indie band writing tunes in a classic indie rock style, the new track is the 1st of a series of singles that they recorded in the midst of the pandemic lockdown, and it's a catchy one which is far more upbeat and cheery than the title / lyrics suggest.
All these tracks will be added to the NMR Indie Playlist, which you can find here.