“Is George Harrison really dead, or has he just moved to Bergen?” This is the rhetorical question asked by the English newspaper The Guardian in its recent endorsement of Norwegian folk-pop group Real Ones as the paper’s “band of the day”. (Jan 14th)
The cause of the buzz in Britain is the upcoming release of the twelve-inch Outlaw, which will hit the streets on Feb 28th. Outlaw will be released by the Norwegian independent label House of Tellé, renowned for its many important albums from the so called Bergen scene. Bergen, home of the childhood friends Real Ones, is unquestionably the creative powerhouse of Norwegian music these days. It has produced such names such as Röyksopp, Kings of Convenience, Annie Sondre Lerche and many others. With Real Ones another aspect of the creativity and deep musicality that this city fosters has become apparent: They represent “unproduced”, played music at its very best; pure song-crafting genius expressed through unparallel mastery of instruments and voices. Already long since a local and Norwegian favourite this unique band is now embarking on a bigger adventure with brilliant prospects on the international scene, most immediately in Britain.
But notwithstanding the importance of what is happening in Britain, the most important development for the band has happened on the home front where Real Ones have just signed a comprehensive deal with Warner. The deal came to pass after Warner’s people had heard the already recorded album “All for the neighbourhood.” This album, Real Ones fourth long play is due to be released sometime in April. And the deal comprises two more records, tentatively.
The reason for signing real Ones we have already revealed: they are quite simply one of the freshest, most innovative bands around; with complex, thrilling songs and a quite outstanding ability to bring it all home live. –Their performances have this unique ability to put smiles on people’s faces; by the sheer magic of their musicality and their skill at making songs that manifest the eerie, joyful mystery of good melodies. They make it seem so simple to craft great songs with the basic acoustic elements they employ.
As such the quote from the Guardian might be the best way of describing this band, for like Harrison they do indeed have a lot of that sheer luminosity, which takes the listener from simple acoustic strumming, and across the universe.
Real Ones expertly combine notions of Irish folk, American west coast harmonies, eastern twang, and progressive pop a la Flaming Lips and Mars Volta. And all through their diverse output runs this loyalty to the basic concept of played music, and real instruments. Their name in a way says it all: This is the real thing, songs that draw you in, lights up the whole listening space and also lets the mind wonder. Like all great songs do.
Outlaw (12-inch) will be out in Britain on Feb. 28th, while the upcoming long play album “All for the neighbourhood” will be released in Norway in April.
Check out Real Ones here: