After the initial domestic phase, which has included rave reviews and bags of buzz for both outfits, The Lionheart Brothers and Grand Island are releasing their respective debut albums in Scandinavia and Europe.
Though at the same stage in their careers, and with equal promise of impact on the international music scene, these two bands are worlds apart: The Lionheart Brothers: originally two Norwegian boys carried away with the sorrowing and magical beauty of Astrid Lindgren’s childrens tale of the brave Brothers Lionheart who die but go on to fight evil in the Elysian realm of Nangijala. Strongly inspired by this tale they later in life came to create a musical vision which bears traits of dreamlike transcendence yet which is rooted in firm and identifiable musical traditions. After a stint as a duo they drafted new members and became the fully fledged band that The Lionheart Brothers now are. –A band more conscious than most of the constituents of their art; elements of punk-rock and sixties pop, masterfully merged and furthered by a strong sense of lift that makes the songs intentional of somewhere like Nangijala. Monumental space-pop might be another denotation. Their long play debut “Dizzy Kiss” was released in Norway last year to great acclaim: here was a band taking up the great heritage of meticulous musical craftsmanship and a sense for the soaring and trance-inducing. The Guardian recently described the band as “a widescreen, psychedelic colossus.”
“Dizzy Kiss” has recently been licensed to Sweden and Denmark where the album will be released on May 9th. In Sweden they are soon due to embark on a tour with domestic pop heroes Sahara Hotnights and it may just be the right time and right outfit for some real Norwegian impact on the Swedish music scene. They will also tour in The UK and Norway. (Se link to the dates below.)
Grand Island is a rather more incongruous musical entity; bluegrass lunacy, one is tempted to suggest. It is something like Appalachian folk infused with huge doses of uncanny drugs. Super fuelled and unpredictable this band presents a cocktail of traditional American folk instrumentation, erratic changes in tempo and atmosphere, and wildly catchy, haywire melodies. Their debut, last years “Say no to sin,” was something previously unheard in Norway, and it blew most critics off their feet. The energy and apparent lunacy is laced with hooks that make the songs irresistible and incomprehensible at the same time. Hailed as a new measure of innovation the album is now ready for its European release. The reviews have started to pour in form across the continent, and they mostly echo the response back home, with maximum dividend in a number of magazines. An extensive tour of Europe commences in Germany on May 3rd