The Northern Belle (Norway) ft. Siv Jakobsen and Louien: No Rush (single)
It’s a glamorous old steam train trundling around the UK with day trips costing 250 quid per head but in Norway The Northern Belle is a septet led by singer-songwriter Stine Andreassen whose country-folk, fiddle and steel guitar style has been dubbed ‘Nordicana’ and they have supported Courtney Marie Andrews who is as Nordicana-ed as it gets.
‘No Rush’ is their first release since last year’s album, ‘We Wither, We Bloom’, the theme of which, a common one in songs at the moment, was “taking care of each other”.
On this song, and as a demonstration of ‘togetherness’, they are joined by fellow Norwegians Siv Jakobsen – well known to NMR readers of course and my personal ‘Album of the Year’ winner for 2020 (‘A Temporary Soothing’ which has since been nominated for a Spellemann Prize - and the less well known but fast-emerging indie folk performer Louien on vocals.
It’s a sort of call to arms, or more correctly call to phone or Zoom and to get together across the airwaves when it can’t be done in person. Nothing novel, but telling all the same.
The song is all about the harmonies, which are copious and agreeable throughout, while the key line is about “smelling the spring again”. I thought I’d experienced that this afternoon, when we reached the giddy heights of 10 degrees centigrade after a long hard winter of discontent, but it was just a change of wind direction bringing the delights of the sewage farm.
I was able to pick out Siv – her voice as distinctive as ever – and she has a little section of her own in which her vocal gels well with that of Louien.
I often find myself saying you need to listen to a song a few times to appreciate it fully and this is a prime example, not only for the overlapping vocals, there’s a lot going on musically, too.
‘No Rush’ was released via in the intriguingly titled Die With Your Boots On Records today February 26th 2021.