Here’s a novelty. A song released internationally by a Norwegian band and it’s in Norwegian rather than English.
Von August, an electronic, synth-pop Oslo-based trio, is the latest signing to Monstera Records. They comprise vocalists Live Schau and the wonderfully-named Klara Lucie Østrem Ossum, together with producer Simon Nenseter Nome. The trio have been working on material for the last year since their inception in late 2019 and their debut single was ‘Det Vi Aldri Snakket Om’ (‘What we never talked about’).
This new single is called 'Hvis Du Vil'. Translated from Norwegian, it means 'If You Want', and has the themes of ambiguous love (I’m ambiguous as to just what that means) and dreaming about things you shouldn't be.
It seems they use a lot of metaphors as they examine love, loneliness and friendship, which used to be the domain of the newspaper agony aunt (whatever happened to them?) Unfortunately, I can’t comment further lyrically. I really need to brush up on my Norwegian.
What I can comment on is the music. In parts it could well be the score to a sci-fi movie. The difficulty with combining electronic ballads like this with synth-effects is the latter can often spoil the former. That isn’t the case here, the various rattles, bangs and popping noises add to the atmosphere. Until the last minute or so that is, when it all gets a little manic.
They take inspiration from artists such as FKA twigs, James Blake and their own Emilie Nicolas, and the more I listen to 'Hvis Du Vil' the more I hear Twigs, especially in the opening passage, which has shades of ‘Cellophane’ and in the vocal. The production is top notch.
These are highly promising debuts and I’m looking forward to hearing more from them.
‘Hvis Du Vil’ is released today via Monstera Records.