Thursday, 13 October 2016

Songs from Beyond the North Sea

After spending the last few weeks focusing on music from far-flung and exotic places such as Cambodia, Laos, Kazakhstan and South Africa, this week I'm looking just a hop over the North Sea away, with some new-to-me artists from Norway!

This electronic duo formed in 1998, and their name is apparently a stylised version of the Norwegian word for puffball mushroom: røyksopp, though the artists say it could also refer to the mushroom cloud of an atomic blast. (Cheerful!)
The band use a number of different vocalists on their recordings, both male and female, so without being familiar with any of them it was quite a surprise to hear what the vocals on each song were like!
Whilst some of the tracks I heard were more what I think of when I think 'electronic', others were much different to what I expected!
The videos I watched were pretty varied; some told stories whilst others seemed more artsy. I liked watching/listening to this act, and since the songs I heard are performed in English I could understand the content easily!
This is a good act with some great songs; I'm not generally a fan of the electronic genre but enjoyed this band's sound.
Röyksopp Official Website

A folk-rock band with a metal twist to their sound, Gåte (Norwegian for 'riddle') was formed in 2000 and active until 2005, then reformed for one more year between 2009-2010.
I really like the combination of rock/folk/metal sounds in music, and whilst a lot of similar female-fronted acts might opt for a more pseudo-operatic vocal, Gåte go more towards the folksy sound. (I'd go as far as to say there's a Celtic twang to be heard in this act's vocals!)
Their music videos feature lots of dark lighting and some fantasy elements, along with the band performing.
Gåte's songs are all in Norwegian, but the internet is a wonderful thing, so they are plenty of lyric translations to be found (here's one for the song above!) so the language isn't a problem.
I found their music engaging and energetic, and will probably go back at some point to listen to more!
No official website this time. Boo.

That's it for this week! My list of new-to-me acts is still huge, so who knows which country's music I'll be looking at next week...

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