We’ve not featured Norwegian songwriter Petter Carlsen before in Nordic Music Review, which is a shame, because his blend of music styles probably covers the range of music we like to feature (rock, alternative, folk, jazz and a hefty progressive leaning ), but we’ll correct that now given his new single ‘Dogs’ has been released – unsurprisingly last Friday, along with everyone else.
He’s a musician with a fairly substantial following in the UK already, which goes all the way back to 2010 after he supported UK prog-rockers Anathema on the tour, playing songs from his debut album ‘You Go Bird’. Since then he has released 3 more albums, ‘Clocks Don’t Count’, ‘Sirens’ and most recently ‘Glimt’ – a more ‘experimental’ album from his perspective that introduced classical and folk influences, as well as being sung in Norwegian. He’s also toured extensively, playing at some of our favourite small venues in the UK – The Exchange, Bristol and Brudenell Social Club amongst them.
Of course, I always make my views on any progressively influenced music clear, because in my mind ‘progressive music’ should by definition look forward, and not just wallow in dreary rehashes of bands from 30 years ago who weren’t particularly interesting even back then. Thankfully Petter Carslen doesn’t fall into that category.
The guitar in ‘Dogs’ certainly hints at Carlsen’s metal influences, but it’s done unobtrusively with a strong melody and vocals, whilst the leftfield middle section some 3 minutes really takes the track in another direction, which is a nice surprise. Lyrically it tells of the ‘’masks we're wearing, where we hide our true feelings (especially online) and where the modern world lacks real connection between people.’’
‘Dogs’ is a really interesting and rich fusion of ideas, we look forward to his new album too and I really hope when all this stuff is over we get more UK dates, as I’d love to see him perform live.