Everybody’s Saturdays nights are different, some like them loud and crazy, and others prefer a quite night in.
Well on this Saturday night I’m checking emails for new music, most of it is the same as everything else out there. I open an email about a Norwegian pop act and start to listen to the 4 song EP and it instantly blows me away, If you like music that expresses diaphanous wonder and breathy rapture, then you’ll love Norwegian duo Alfred Hall. Hans Thomas, an engineering undergrad, and medical student Bjørn Tveit are childhood friends who have known each other since they were 10 years old. They decided to form a band in the summer of 2009 while working as farmhands on Hans Thomas’ family’s farm in rural Drammen, Norway.
By the start of 2012 Alfred Hall’s music was being hailed as “star-spangled” and was attracting the attention of the Norwegian public, not to mention legions of A&R (wo)men. They signed to Sony Norway and their first single ‘So Bright’ became a hit on Norwegian radio and the cooler international stations. The video for follow-
up single ‘Lose That Gun’ was nominated as “Scandinavia’s Best Music Video” at the 2013 Bergen International Film Festival.
That following year saw the Norwegian release of Alfred Hall’s debut album ‘Wilderness’. A feast of radiant guitars, insistent rhythms and sumptuously sorrowful melodies, it went on to be nominated for ‘Best Pop Album’ at the Norwegian Grammys.
And now, in 2016, they will release music in the UK for the first time. Their ‘Safe & Sound’ EP will be available from March 25th. Irresistibly upbeat, full of earworms and hooks that caress and charm. Lead track ‘Safe & Sound’ has been winning converts all over the world. With over 3 million plays on Spotify, it was also used on the worldwide trailer for Netflix Original series Derek and as soon as the song starts it’s clear to see why. It will suddenly have you yearning for long summer days with, BBQ’s, beers and friends. The vocals are soft and mesmerising, something close to Blue October mixed with Mumford and Sons, if that wasn’t enough they are backed up with a musical canvas of colour that feels like it’s been painted with unhindered emotion. This masterpiece will be the soundtrack to a lot of people’s summer.
The second track on the release is a Simon Field remix of the same track ‘safe and Sound’ it’s a chunkier affair with beats that won’t be out of place in some Ibiza clubs this summer but it still holds on to the beautiful core of the song. Safe and Sound is Backed up with two other tracks, ‘So Bright’ and ‘Wild at Heart’, do yourself a favour and take the time to listen to both of these because they are both better than a lot of stuff you will hear this year. The energetic ‘So Bright’ is driven by drums that will have you tapping your feet and nodding your head while you smile at the beauty of this band. Finally ‘Wild at Heart’ is a gem of a song, its driven by soft guitar with vocals that seems to dance off the each cord played, again it will have you smiling or even the darkest of days.
If you listen to one piece of music this month then make it ‘Safe and Sound’ and if you know anything about good music that I promise you that you will have a band to cherish. I have a feeling we will be hearing a lot more about this band in 2016, watch this space. 9/10