Jordsjø – Jord

Jordsjø – Jord

From Oslo in Norway, Jordsjø started as a side project for multi-instrumentalist Håkon Oftung (Tusmorke, Black Magic) in 2014, but developed into a two man venture with Kristian Frøland. They are currently a four man band, with the aim of playing live dates. The band has released three albums, but on cassette only, with this album, Jord, available through Bandcamp after its release in January 2017. The signing to the excellent Karisma Records sees Jord released on CD for the first time on the 9th March, the band considering this as their first proper album.

Coming in at around thirty nine minutes across seven tracks the album is the perfect length, leaving the listener wanting more and hitting the replay button. ‘Jord’ translates, as far as I can tell, to ‘Earth’, and this is a true reflection of the music contained on the album. It has an earthy quality, symphonic at times but with that darker undercurrent, added to this some spacey/psychedelia and a Norwegian folk feel it creates an interesting mix. There are a lot of vintage keyboards used widely throughout, wrapping around clear and precise guitar work from Håkon Oftung, who also adds some great flute playing to many of the tracks. There is a clear influence from the early years of progressive music, at times reminiscent of Änglagård, particularly on the excellent Jord II, but that said, this is not a nostalgic copy, the band forging themselves some original and interesting sounds.

The opening track Over Vidda introduces us to some folky almost ethereal flute, giving the album a gentle start before things change significantly on Abstraksjoner which begins with great guitar work, supported by the retro sounding keyboards. Throughout the album there are wonderful melodies, some songs having an upbeat feel while others are gentler, but where they succeed is in the harmony and balance between the two. The vocals are presented in their native Norwegian and for me this works well, adding to the whole atmosphere they have created.

Finske Skoger has a really bright and almost light feel provided by some great flute, the guitar setting tempo, Robert William Dall Frøseth contributing excellent bass work. The centre piece of the album could be Jord I and Jord II, here perhaps the Änglagård influence shows through; the two songs effortlessly drifting between their various moods and textures, Jord II being a fine example of this. The keyboards play an important part with the use of Mellotron and organ, which at first appears to give a nod, briefly, to Keith Emerson, later playing in a way that would have made Jon Lord smile, even becoming a little jazzy three quarters through.

An album that has a retro feel created through its instruments, but also comes with a fresh modern sound, brimming with ideas. There is a great deal to enjoy here and hopefully they will get better exposure due to this release through Karisma Records.

01. Over Vidda (1:48)
02. Abstraksjoner Fra Et Dunkelt Kammer (6:50)
03. Finske Skoger (2:56)
04. Jord I (6:24)
05. Jord II (8:27)
06. La Meg Forsvinne! (6:38)
07. Postludium (4:42)

Total Time – 37:45

Håkon Oftung – Vocals, Guitar, Flute, Keyboards
Kristian Frøland – Drums & Percussion
~ with:
Robert William Dall Frøseth – Bass (track 3)

Live band line up:
Håkon Oftung – Vocals, Flute, Guitar, Keyboards
Kristian Frøland – Drums & Percussion
Stale Langhelle – Keyboards
Hakon Knutson – Guitars, Bass

Record Label: Karisma Records
Country of Origin: Norway
Date of Release: 9th March 2018

Jordsjø – Facebook | Bandcamp