Bergen - the new Seattle?

The Times visits the Lost Weekend Festival, talks to Even Johansen aka Magnet and brashly declares that "Bergen, Norway – it’s the new Seattle".

Magnet: The Tourniquet (cover)

The Times’ Pete Paphides recently visited the vibrant Lost Weekend festival that’s staged among the idyllic islands in the Askøy area outside Norway’s west-coast capital Bergen. The festival created a fitting backdrop for an interview with one of Bergen’s hottest acts these days, Even Johansen aka Magnet who is soon to release his third album ‘The Tourniquet’ (out on Warner on 22 August) – a follow-up to the highly acclaimed ‘On Your Own’ which spawned such landmark hits as Lay Lady Lay, Where Happiness Lives and Last Day of Summer.

The interview outlines Magnet’s career and gives an insight into the unique mind of the hyper-creative and much revered artist who lives on a farm outside of Bergen.

Paphides does not just focus on Magnet and his anticipated new album, he also emphasises the unique and vibrant music scene in Bergen that has fostered
As a “proof that there’s more to Norway than a-ha”, Paphides lists internationally renowned acts such as Sondre Lerche, Röyksopp, Annie, Kings of Convenience, Robert Post and Erlend Øye and declares that Bergen is a capital of sound in the making – an equivalent to the Liverpool scene in the late 70s, Manchester during the happy days from ’88 to ’90 and the heyday of Seattle grunge in the early nineties.

Read the entire article here.

NME recently reviewed ‘The Tourniquet’, awarding it 7 out of ten stars and declaring that: “’The Tourniquet’ displays the kind of classic songwriting spliced with darkly-hued futurism that Chris Martin failed to deliver on Coldplay’s new album: time to put down that copy of ‘X&Y’ and take up ‘The Tourniquet’ instead.”

Music Week writes: “Norwegian singer-songwriter Even Johansen returns with the follow-up to his superb debut On Your Side. This recording continues pretty much where the he left off, with swooping, lush melodies and melancholic yet accessible lyrics that could appeal to the likes of James Blunt or Damien Rice’s fanbases. Despite the similarities, his material carries more weight than that of his peers and has a dynamism often missing from others in his genre.”

Magnet and his new live band (who played a blistering and very well received set at this weekend’s Øya Festival in Oslo) will tour the UK in October as main support to Engineers.

Click here to listen to streaming audio clips from ‘The Tourniquet’.

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