New Music Round-up by Andy from Nordic Music Review (11Sep)

Andy is back to write us a guest post from Nordic Music Review giving us his tips on which new songs we should be checking out!

GRO – ‘One Two Free Fall’ 

Friday was international World Suicide Prevention day, the aim of which was to ‘create hope through action’, so a good place to start this weeks round up is Denmark, where musician and producer GRO has released a track to coincide with the day of awareness.

Behind GRO is the musician Julie Møller Christiansen, and ‘One Two Free Fall’ is the latest track released in the run up to her debut album ‘Columna’ in October. Originally she wrote the tracks in the period subsequent to her own mother’s suicide, and through her music aims to destigmatize conversations about suicide. ‘I hope that the music and the fact that I speak openly about what the songs are about can also help others who have lost. I myself am helped a lot in my process by reading other people’s stories.’

Musically the song is certainly bigger and more powerful than previous release ‘Into the Woods’, but both are compelling in their own ways. The electronic elements even at the climax of the song are never overbearing, whilst you really will want to hang on to every word of the lyrics. 

Siri Birk – ‘Ending’ EP

Norwegian born (but Danish based) indie folk musician Siri Birk heads into the realms of relationship breakdowns in her new EP ‘Ending’, which was released on Friday. I really liked her EP from earlier this year entitled ‘Longing’, and whilst of course the new tracks are somewhat melancholy, they are really beautifully written and expressed. 

The lyrics in ‘We Got Lost’ in particular hit home: ‘I thought you were a forest full of mystery, with hidden tracks and rivers waiting to be seen’, the imagery is all so very Nordic. Anyway the songs are carried forward by Siri’s lovely vocals and acoustic guitar, and ‘Ending’ is a real treat, and not anywhere near as sad as I thought it might be. 

Siri Birk (Photo Credit: Emanuel Elischa )

Paul Bäcklin – ‘Amber’ Single

Paul Bäcklin is a new name to me, although he was in a band called The Diamond Man Clan, who were signed to Sony a few years back. He took a good break from recording whilst he studied a degree in ‘Individual Performance’ at Gothenburg University, and now he’s back as a solo artist. 

Now I don’t quite know where to place ‘Amber’ from a genre perspective, which is always a good sign, and it has a dramatic imposing instrumental backdrop, with a melody that heads off in directions that you won’t quite expect. It’s both surprising and unusual, and I liked it even more on 2nd listen.

The video was directed by Nicola Camoglio, and it’s ‘a picture of someone who has gone down the cowardly route of drinking’.  

Pale Moon – ‘Strange Days’ single 

Often the definition of what is actually Nordic can get somewhat complicated, and Pale Moon are an Icelandic / Russian indie duo, based in Spain but who first bonded as songwriters whilst travelling across Mexico. They debuted with an EP in 2019 entitled ‘Dust of Days’, and more recently released a single ‘Parachutes’ which charted back in Iceland.

New release ‘Strange Days’ dropped yesterday, and it’s easily my favourite new song of the week. There’s a hint of psychedelia in the guitars, yet overall the track has a euphoric upbeat feel, with a catchy chorus and an entertaining video featuring vocalist Nata and a disturbing amount of ‘squirty cream’ – all explained obviously by the word ‘Nata’ meaning ‘cream’ in Spanish. 

Veps – ‘Open the Door’ EP

There’s a new a single out from Norwegian superstars Highasakite, but I’ll be honest it’s left me a little bemused, so instead I’ll head back earlier in the summer to a band who I suspect will make as much impact on the indie music scene as compatriots ‘Pom Poko’. Veps are 4 piece all girl band from Oslo, who first appeared back in 2019 with the astounding ‘Do I Hear A Maybe’, and have now released an EP called ‘Open the Door’ with 6 very listenable grunge pop songs. 

It’s difficult to pick out a highlight, but ‘Girl on TV’ opens up with an attractively wayward tune (you’ll get what I mean when you listen) and just has this really cool laid back vibe that instantly reminds me of those indie music festivals we all used to go to in the good old days..Pretty sure we’ll see them across Europe within a couple of years. 

Guest Feature by Andy Wors

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