Friday, 28 September 2012

New single - Amund Maarud - Dirty Laundry

I grew up in a fairly small community in the Norwegian countryside. A classic case of everybody knowing everybody. As a kid I was part of the local children's theatre group which meant that we would go around and have little plays on openings of shopping malls, homes for the elderly and anything else that was on in the area. Lots of singing of the local community songs etc. Being such a little place, you would also know of the other local cultural acts of the area. One of them was two brothers and their father who had their own little band, and quite surprisingly for someone in the countryside of Norway in the 90's, they played blues. These kids where a few years younger than me, but all ready then I remember them being brilliant. They where also somewhat mysterious. These guys came from an to me almost unknown place far north into the woods of our community, they even had a different dialect.

As time past they grew and it's been a thrill to follow how Amund has grown and gotten better and better as a songwriter, singer and last, but not least, as a guitarist, almost always backed by his brother Henrik on the drums. I am sure the father brings out his bass occasionally still.

Blues has never been my favourite musical style. I dig the soul and honesty of it, but it usually drives me a bit crazy after a few songs, because it tends to be the same chord progressions again and again. Nevertheless I was thrilled when I saw that Amund had a new single out and curious to what he was doing now. And wow, I was surprise, amused and baffled! Not only has he managed to keep the gritty, dirty lovely bluesy style, BUT he has developed and mixed it with rock in a brilliant arrangement. The verses start up with a classic bluesshake, and refrain suuucks you right in and makes me think of the greatest moments in Jack Whites music and somehow also Arctic Monkeys at it's best. And just when it's on the verge of getting a bit boring, there are brass and there is guitar, oh there is fantastic guitar. It's like for the first time we can see the soul and heart of the artist. This gives me the chills, this is quality, this is great. I am so looking forward to hear the rest of the album!

The video for the song Dirty Laundry is also quite striking and extra heart-warming. Gritty, strange and makes me think of David Lynch and the series Carnivale. At the same time it is heart-warming, because this is the environment I grew up in. Recognize the hills and barns. It's been a long time since I have gone: "wow, this is something" after hearing a song for the first time. And this, this certainly is something good. Enjoy!

(wow. just realized that the video is filmed by an old classmate of mine. This just keeps getting better.) Dirty laundry on Spotify

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Frontwomen - Gwen Stefani and Shirley Manson

For some reason I had no idea that No Doubt where releasing a new album so I was pleasantly surprised when I found it late last night. Not brilliant, but quite good poppy, I thought. This morning I decided to look for a clip for "Stand and deliver". It's growing on me, that song, and I wanted to pass it on to a friend of mine. What I found, made my eyes fill up with water; two of my favourite frontwomen on one stage. There are few that have such presence, energy, uniqueness and are so much themselves as Gwen and Shirley! Feel that energy, darn it, wish I had been there!Didelly qua qua!

(I think there will be more about the No Doubt album later, it's really growing on me. You can listen to it here.)
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