2007’s spring list of upcoming records features some eagerly awaited Norwegian releases. We have selected a few:
Veteran post-rockers Salvatore inaugurated the New Year by releasing their 'Days of Rage' on January 1st and followed suit with an in-store concert of record-breaking length. Since no-one else opted for such an incongruous date (missing Christmas and too early for the new year’s first pay checks and student loans) Salvatore have received a lot of attention, and deservedly so; for their record and bold timing.
The next noteworthy release is The Lionheart Brothers' 'Dizzy Kiss', due on the 22nd of this month. The Brothers first appeared a couple of years ago, to a warm reception; for the intrepid majesty of their music seemed to justify their name. Since then they have grown into a full band, and as with all crusades; expectations rise with numbers.
The same date marks the entrance onto the scene of one of the most anticipated new names in Norway: Christel Alsos; the voice that flows like a river deep in slow, grave bends; the girl for whom the soothsayers of the business predict certain success. Time and 'Closing the Distance' will tell.
The following week Kaiser’s Orchestra’s punk spin-off Skambankt releases the band’s sophomore record 'Eliksir'. Domestic fans are surely yearning for another fill of this top-fuel punk-rock, which despite Norwegian lyrics is hugely popular also in Denmark.
Come February, one of last year’s really big names Ane Brun will bestow on us 'Live in Scandinavia', and for a live favourite this can hardly go wrong.
On the same date, February fifth, electronica pioneer and club/house wizard Bjørn Torske issues his 'Feil Knapp' (Wrong Button). Torske’s legacy is already secured, and new outings from the man are always a matter of keen anticipation from adherents of the electronic avant-garde.
On the twelfth London-based Frederick Ball, aka Pleasure, releases his second solo album 'Pleasure 2'. His debut was a bit of a surprise to most Norwegians, for with its crack-catchy tracks, prominent guest appearances and pocket full of brilliant British reviews it seemed an unlikely achievement for a Norwegian lad. With ever more produced hits and fine collaborations on his résumé, Pleasure assures us that his upcoming album will be catchier than the previous one. Promising indeed..
February 19th is the big day for Marte Wulf. Recently shortlisted for a 2006 Norwegian Grammy (equivalent) in the “best newcomer” category, her second album is perfectly timed and will not lack exposure. Her soothing guitar and autumn-hued singing stands out, as do her melodies, and another serving is a welcome prospect indeed.
But on the same day a bigger event takes place, at least from an international point of view: crooner prodigy and US success Sondre Lerche hits us with his 'Phantom Punch'. Already embraced by American mags, Lerche’s new dose of “smartrock” will surely please the many admirers of that genre.
March arriving several names come into focus: On the fifth, young blue-flamed yearners Washington release their 'Astral Sky' while hard hitting trio El Caco issue 'From Dirt'. And then, on March 12th sun-burst rock favourites Big Bang release their 'Too much Yang'.
But the biggest event of the spring record season is the return of Turbonegro. On April 23 the still untitled new album from Norway’s biggest rock band hits the stores. And even though fans of any band will always await new records, this is never truer than regarding the dedicated global Turbo Jugend. With Turbonegro there is a lot more at stake than just new songs, it is a carnival, and the expectant Jugend is ready for some more of that special fun.