Apothek [apo-teck] take a thoughtful, philosophical approach to their music as they explore existentialism without the dread through a hybrid of organic and synthetic sounds. By replacing worry with a sense of wonder, they attempt to uncover universal truths by exploring the more mundane details of our lives. Comprised of Morten Myklebust and Nils Martin Larsen, the Norwegian duo who just released their debut LP broach their craft from slightly different, albeit ultimately complimentary angles. Singer Myklebust has an inherently spontaneous writing process, while producer Larsen has a more measured and methodical strategy that comes from years behind a mixing desk.
Stream the intricately-constructed album opener “Roaring,” along with a dreamy reimagining of their first single “Family” below. Apothek’s self-titled debut is out now — released September 30 via Propeller Recordings.
Highasakite have revealed the drop date of their forthcoming album Camp Echo — due out May 20 on Propeller Recordings. In advance of the release, the Norwegian collective previously shared the tempestuous track “Someone Who’ll Get It” and now they’ve unveiled the lead single “Golden Ticket.” The more upbeat, pop leanings of the track belie the dystopian subtext of the song, the opening line of which references a post-World War II poem by Gunvor Hofmo, ‘Det er ingen hverdag mer’ [translation: there’s no more every day]. “It’s a very famous verse, and was used a lot around the time of the Norwegian terrorist attacks [Oslo and Utøya, 2011],” explains vocalist Ingrid Helene Håvik. It’s this substantive nature of Highasakite’s lyricism alloyed with their sonorous arrangements that makes their music so resonant.
Norway’s Highasakite have announced a new album to be released later this year, which will be the follow-up to their 2014 debut LP Silent Treatment. Just as they did on their first album, the new material will grapple with social issues and tackle today’s turbulent political clime with their acclaimed brand of dark indie-pop. In fact, the theme of the album is war and terrorism, according to vocalist Ingrid Helene Håvik. “It’s not a political album in the sense that I want people to side with specific party or mindset, but it has been central in my life,” Håvik says. “There are not many love songs on the album, because I haven’t been in that state of mind for a long time. Global warming and war have been my main concern.” Regardless, encased in her smouldering vocals — the stormy and newly released track “Someone Who’ll Get It” shows Håvik exploring this heavy subject matter in a relational context.
Just when you start to think you’re becoming aurally jaded, a Scandi indie-folk goddess emerges out of the ether to restore your faith in the new music scene. Such is the case with Kari Jahnsen, the London-based Norwegian singer-songwriter known as Farao. She just released her new single “Bodies,” which will be featured on her forthcoming debut LP Till It’s All Forgotten — out on September 11 via Full Time Hobby. The album, on which Jahsen composed and performed nearly all the instruments was produced by Mike Lindsay (of English group Tunng) and mixed by Grammy award-winning producer Andrew Scheps (Hozier, Lana Del Ray). The beauty of “Bodies” is that it unwinds in an unexpected fashion, expanding in all different directions all the while retaining its bedazzling and melodic musical core.
Farao’s first US tour kicks off in NYC this fall and concludes in LA. Full dates below — but DC brethren can catch the chanteuse at DC9 September 23.
Upcoming Tour Dates:
9/10 – Sebright Arms – London, UK
9/17 – Rockwood Music Hall – New York, USA
9/22 – Smiling Buddha – Toronto, CA
9/23 – DC9 – Washington DC, USA
9/24 – Boot & Saddle – Philadelphia, USA
9/26 – Music Hall Loft – Portsmouth, USA
9/29 – Hotel Café – Los Angeles, USA
Meet Highasakite, the Norwegian indie-pop outfit whose name derives from the Elton John classic “Rocket Man.” The five-piece released their debut album, Silent Treatment earlierthis year. With unique vocals and intricate instrumentation, Highasakite inhabit a “rare musical landscape, a place of long dark shadows, sudden flashes of glittering light, brooding silences and unexpected explosions of fierce percussion,” as their bio goes.
The group was scheduled to perform tonight with Louis Weeks at DC’s Gypsy Sally’s, but unfortunately was forced to cancel last minute due to illness in the band. Stream “Since Last Wednesday” below, available for free download on Soundcloud.
Despite making waves in the electronic music scene for nearly a decade, the recent release of Todd Terje‘s LP It’s Album Time marks the first full-length record for the artist.Recognized for his collaborations with Franz Ferdinand and Robbie Williams, Terje is the Norwegian DJ/producer known for his balearic beats and Italo disco synths. Stream the album single “Delorean Dynamite” and all its bossa nova flavor below.
Combining all the best elements of Scandinavian pop, Mr Little Jeans, aka Norway’s Monica Birkenes has just released a new EP entitled Good Mistake. Describing her music as “pop that dances left of center,” the title track is a simple but sprightly piece of electropop that packs a punch in all the right places. Stream “Good Mistake” below and look out for her debut LP to drop March 25.
Erlend Øye, one half of Kings of Convenience, one quarter of the Whitest Boy Alive, and collaborator with Royksopp is primed to release a new album sometime next year. Although the Norwegian has yet to announce a release date, this is joyous news for fans of the folkateer. The album, La Prima Estate will be sung entirely in Italian — adding to the charm of his latest project. Enjoy a preview of the first single off the album below.
Bonus: A video of one of my early favorites from KOC. This melancholic track makes me utterly, supremely and absurdly happy.