Nordic Giants - Origins

Nordic Giants – Origins

Nordic Giants who are well known for their immersive live performances and their mysterious stage presence have decided to release an early years’ compilation called Origins. The album collects the band’s first recordings, A Tree As Old As Me EP, and the singles Speed The Crow Nest and Shine. The duo have revisited the original recording sessions and have re-recorded, remixed and remastered many of the main instruments for this release. The aim of the newly recorded instruments which include strings, is to bring the tracks more in tune with what is heard in a live setting. This album is the first of two planned releases for this year with a new studio album to follow around September time.

As previously mentioned this band are well known for their live experiences, and I use that description since I saw them in concert in The Globe Cardiff, a gig which I reviewed for TPA. Such was the experience it has remained in the forefront of my memory whenever I hear them play. Their recorded output is always a clear indicator of the sweeping cinematic scope of their music which translates so well to the live setting.

These early songs clearly demonstrate that their ideas were there in the beginning, all that has been done with further releases is some refinement, and not much of that was needed I might add. I am not aware of the original sound of these songs, but these newer versions sound wonderful in both quality and melody, being dramatic, cinematic and beautifully paced showing that these guys definitely had a clear idea of their musical vision.

So, track-wise we have eight tracks; four from the aforementioned A Tree As Old As Me EP, plus the singles and a reworked version of Dark Cloud Mean War, and four of the tracks include some guest vocalists. The whole album clocks in at 45 minutes in length. For the very first time this collection of songs will be available on numerous formats; vinyl, CD, USB, and tape, with the track Together which was previously unreleased on vinyl.

They begin in dramatic form with a version of Together which is a live favourite, opening with sampled speech from Martin Luther King Jr. whose words promote cooperation and togetherness which is the key focus of the track. The song is keyboard led with drums in support creating bursts of high energy alternating with spoken samples, which makes the song both catchy and exciting.

The next track is the first of the two singles, Speed The Crows Nest begins with some atmospheric synth punctuated with piano and drums fills, gradually building throughout the song to a sort of fanfare ending. There are four tracks on this album which feature different vocalists, each it would seem chosen specifically to suit the song style. For example Glass Skinned Girl features Freya’s lovely ethereal vocals to some beautiful atmospheric music drawing the listener in. The Seed features the vocals of Jake Reid whose voice, full of feeling, sits so well within the music, featuring a rolling piano theme which kicks up a gear with the introduction of the drums.

Their music draws you in with catchy melodies, often building the tension throughout the songs with explosions of powerful energy, this is demonstrated on Through A Lens Darkly where at around the half way point, Löki’s trumpet bursts through upping the tempo. The album ends with a powerful reworking of the track Dark Clouds Mean War from the Dismantle Suns EP, a track that goes through many textures; exciting, emotive to name but two. This is a track that will instill different reactions between listeners, much as their live concert experiences do.

This is a fine collection of their earlier works which has been given the care and attention the tracks deserve, plus being released together on some formats for the first time should make this a must purchase for fans. That said this album would be a good starting point for new listeners as the breadth of their music is clearly on show here and should create some new followers.

01. Together (5:34)
02. Speed The Crows Nest (4:22)
03. Glass Skinned Girl (5:56)
04. Through A Lens Darkly (5:37)
05. Shine (4:13)
06. The Seed (5:26)
07. B.O.A.T.S (5:44)
08. Dark Clouds Mean War (Rework) (8:06)

Total Time – 45:02

Löki – Keyboards, Synths, Trumpet, Loops
Râka – Drums, Bowed Guitar, Samples
~ With:
Freyja – Vocals (3)
Cate ferris – Vocals (5)
Jake Reid – Vocals (6)
Amdine – Vocals (7)

Record Label: Independent
Country of Origin U.K.
Date of Release: 7th June 2024

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