On a fairly gloomy Friday morning, this new song called “Birds” from Oslo based artist Simen Mitlid seems to be the perfect song for me today. Though it may come across as a strictly somber tune, it also features some brightness with atmospheric harmonies and clean guitars. Really this is a beautifully crafted song akin to something along the lines of older A.A. Bondy or Iron & Wine. Exactly what I needed to hear this morning.
This track will be the title track on an album of the same name coming out in the fall of 2020.
The Slow Painters are a four piece band out of Oslo who create their very own brand of indie rock, sprinkled with hints of Americana and folk. My first introduction to the band came by way of this impressive new single called “Egon”. It is a tightly wound bit of indie music, exploring avenues of foot stomping folk music and chant worthy epics. Though the band is new to me, and likely you, I expect to be hearing more from them in the future after my favorite single of the week.
The Slow Painters will release their debut, self-titled LP on August 28th via KeepSecret Records.
We’ve covered Grand Union in the past, though it’s been a few years since we’ve heard from the Norwegian group; today they’ve got a brand new single to share with the world…and it’s exactly what I’ve been looking for this morning. It’s this huge traditional power pop sound, fueled by dueling guitar parts and great melodic vocals that float on the top of the mix. Slight little mood changes in the chorus offer up just the slightest wrinkle, with the lyrical kind standing up defiantly against the killing frost; you even get a nice little guitar solo flare too, just so the band can flex their musical muscles. But, like all great pop songs, it gets out of its own way and closes in less than 3 minutes, leaving you refreshed, and perhaps, going back for more. Oh, and if you want another charmer, you should check the B-Side for this single HERE.
I’m very much in a mellow mood this Monday, and thus my offerings have been fairly gentle today, like this new tune from Simen Mitlid. The Norwegian songwriter has been holed up for the last few years, quietly working on the follow-up to his 2017 release, Everything is the Same. What we have now is the same folk style he offered, only now it seems to be brimming with layers and textures; these make his quieted tunes feel like they expand inside your ears. Atmospheric touches build this blossoming pop euphoria within your head, still keeping things close to you as the light guitar strums pull your ear towards the speaker. Birds will be released later this year.
Looks like we’re spending a lot of time up in the Scandinavian part of the world today, which popped up earlier, and now brings us Remington Super 60. We’ve covered the band before, showing our appreciation for their beautiful pop sound. Here they return with this subtle, almost lounge-ready, gem; the pacing definitely lends itself to a moment of early morning reflection. Nice gentle bubble of bass beneath the feathery vocals; this is the sort of number that’s going to make your day infinitely better just be soaking in its natural warmth. The band release their aptly titled, New EP, today, so if you enjoy, go hear the rest.
The great thing about the labels left in the world is that you can always rely upon the tried-and-true ones, like Fika Recordings. By and large, they release a lot of stuff I already love, but sometimes they bring up something I adore that I wasn’t even aware of, like The Little Hands of Asphalt. It’s the project of Sjur Lyseid of Norway, who has been mostly quiet since 2012, working behind the scenes in studios, rather than up front. Today, Fika shared two beautiful pop gems that will appear on the new album, Half Empty. There’s a fragility in these two tunes that I didn’t know I missed, so I wanted to be sure and share those with you today. The new album should be out on March 27th.
If you read these pages, you surely know of my affection for really light indiepop gems built around wonderful melodies that stick to your soul. Today, Norway’s Simen Mitlid drops his Neutral LP, and this track is definitely one of the album’s spotlight tunes. Our journey together begins with this soft gallop and carfeul strum that work with Mitlid’s mellow vocal delivery. Then things pick up, albeit ever so slightly so as not to detract from the core of the song. Bits of tinkering fill in the empty space, leaving the listener with this joyous swell that makes the whole world better. The LP is out today in the world, so go forth and enjoy.
I always like to move into Mondays with something a little bit calming, something that seems to have sensation of easing into the week…so here I am with this wonderful Shikoswe track. While the first 50 seconds feel like my day, slowing moving along, there’s a nice uptick in the energy around 53 seconds that I couldn’t turn away from when listening; it added an underlying energy that crafted that dream drift we all search for…at least for fans of the genre. The chorus “it’s all the same” is a sublime slice of pop sensibility surely soothing several of you. Look for this track on the new album Back in the Tall Grass.
The history of Remington Super 60 goes back over 20 years ago, and while that alone is remarkable in this day and age, what matters most is that they sound just as delightful now as they did back in ’98. I think the first immediate comparison that comes to mind is that ground popularized by Camera Obscura; it has that same structure of indiepop, bringing in classic pop sounds and updating them in a more modern fashion. Of course, there’s this natural warmth here too, which almost makes me wish it was Winter time, so I could sit by a fire and let the magic of this track do the rest of the work for me. Look for a new EP from the group later this Fall.
I always try to keep up with what’s hip over in Scandinavia, as witnessed by my undying love for Finland’s Soliti Records. Today, however, I’m turning my head over to Norway and the band Kongle. They came with a reference to Dungen, which I suppose I can hear, though it feels like there’s a heavier lean towards expansive pop maneuvers; it’s less prog/psych, so it’s all about melodies. That, of course, doesn’t mean the musicianship isn’t spot on, with the recording coming off like a super-tight live band. Their new LP, Skogen, will be released on April 5th.