Published on 20th June 2019
Jordsjø – Nattfiolen
Jordsjø return with their latest album on Karisma Records. Last year saw their first ever CD release, the excellent Jord, which was followed later in the year with a compilation release of their previous cassette-only albums. All were of an excellent standard, and experienced together showed the band’s development within their music.
Jordsjø continue to define their own sound on this new release, retro, folksy and dreamlike at times, creating the old-fashioned textures with good use of the keyboards. The band say they are inspired by old horror movies, but want to get back to a simpler life, closer to nature, and this is reflected in their music, which can be symphonic at times with a notable folksy feel, creating a warm and inviting listen. The songs are sung in their native Norwegian, which adds to the enchanting and mysterious listening experience, often giving the impression of being in a dark Norwegian forest with glimpses of wonderful sunlight dancing through the trees. The compositions have various moods and textures, with the use of the flute, atmospheric keyboards, wonderful guitar and a driving rhythm section, all going a long way to creating their individual sound.
This album is titled Nattfiolen, and if my early attempts at learning Norwegian are correct, that translates as ‘Night Violets’. There are seven tracks, running from just over a minute to a satisfying nine with a total length of forty-one minutes. The band has got the length of each track just right, each song has a great flow, and this applies to all the tracks, giving the listening experience an almost natural progression through the whole album.
The album has an easy start with Ouverture, an almost dreamlike flute and piano piece which concludes with chiming bells on this, the shortest track. In contrast, second track Stifinner begins with crashing drums and sweeping keyboards, the guitar and flute taking over to settle into a beautiful slow groove, the pace increases mid-way with keyboards adding further atmosphere.
The second shortest track, Septemberbål, presents us with an acoustic, almost light feel, before moving into Mine Templer II. This track is a continuation or conclusion of Mine Templer that appeared on their very first cassette. Here we get a flute intro with washes of keyboards, which include some very carefully placed piano, all ably supported by guitar and the rhythm section; the song has some memorable ebb and flow, subtle at times, but always threatening to break loose. The album ends with Ulvenatt (Wolf Night, if my Norwegian lessons are correct), a dream-like journey with some great guitar wand just hints of some Floyd like touches.
This album demonstrates that Jordsjø have now created their own sound, which has been developing throughout their previous releases. If you wish to immerse yourself in wonderful, atmospheric and interesting music with a retro feel, this is the release for you. A quality release from a band that is on a path of continual improvement – bring on the next one, I’m looking forward to it.
01. Ouverture (1:22)
02. Stifinner (8:11)
03. Solens Sirkulære Sang (7:56)
04. Septemberbål (1:54)
05. Mine Templer II (6:43)
06. Til Våren (9:25)
07. Ulvenatt (5:57)
Total Time – 40:06
Håkon Oftung – Vocals, Flute, Guitar, Bass, Keyboards
Kristian Froland – Drums, Percussion
Håkon Knutzen – Percussion
Christian Meaas Svendsen – Double Bass (track 5)
Ståle Langhelle – Arp Pro Soloist (track 2)
Vilde Mertensen Storesund – Backing Vocals
Geir Opdal – Buchla Music Easel (track 7)
Record Label: Karisma Records
Catalogue#: KAR176 (CD) | PLP 2036 (Vinyl)
Country of Origin: Norway
Date of Release: 24th May 2019