I first started writing music reviews in October 2014. I was putting up over 100 comments a week on YouTube videos and I reckoned there must be a more useful way of making my opinion known, assuming of course that anyone wanted to read it!
My very first review was of a gig by St Vincent at the Albert Hall in Manchester. It is still the best one I ever wrote, about 1000 of them later (although sadly no longer viewable as the blog is long gone). I’m not quite sure what that says…
My interest in the music of the Nordic countries actually predates that, back to 2009, when I was introduced (it’s a long story) to some of the artists in the city of Gävle in Central Sweden; one of the most musical places I know of, anywhere. Then I got to know some more people there, in Stockholm and Gothenburg. Later came Norway, when I was attracted to two bands there from entirely different ‘genres’, then Finland (the home of my favourite band momentarily), Iceland, a country I know well from when I worked for the national airline and tourist board, and latterly Denmark, the home to two of my favourite female singer-songwriters currently.
Eventually I realised I was hooked on all of these countries and their musicians.
My main objective here is to promote artists and bands from these countries and their dependencies (we should never overlook the Faroe Islands and Greenland) – in the Nordic countries themselves (just about everyone speaks English there, most of them better than me!), in the UK – my home country – and anywhere else where my thoughts might be read. They can be established or ‘budding’ artists, I don’t mind. If I like them I will review them, and sometimes if I don’t.
I insist on writing honest and ‘proper’ reviews. I abstain from flowery language and industry rote. Please don’t expect “a talented pop songwriter who is completely in control of his/her craft” or other such blandness. Nor do I ‘gush’. If I ever do, there will be a very good reason for it and I’ll make that clear. If I perceive a motive to criticise I will do (the first job of a music critic after all is to criticise – the clue is in the title) but it will always be constructive criticism. I like to try to entertain, and might throw in the odd jokey one-liner to liven things up a bit. But at the end of the day it is all about the artists. They are the ones who really keep us entertained, I’m just the messenger.
If you’d like to be reviewed use the contact section at the bottom of this page or hit me up at [email protected]. I’ll take a listen at least.
NB. Sometimes the contact page fails to generate a message. If you don’t receive a reply within 48 hours, resend directly via email).
We also use the UK-based artist submission platform Musosoup (https://www.musosoup.com/).
If you’d like to write a review, even just occasionally, drop me a line. There are basic guidelines, but that’s all. Your ‘style’ is your own.
If you’d like to advertise on Nordic Music Central, once we’ve got a decent level of readership, please let me know.
Shaw & Crompton, Greater Manchester, UK
Some of my favourite songs, just to give you a flavour of the quality coming out of the Nordic countries:
Highasakite (Norway) – ‘Hiroshima’ live @ Rockefeller, Oslo, 2014:
Sol Heilo (Norway) – ‘Walk a little further’
Gurli Octavia (Denmark) – ‘X-Ray’ live
Lydmor (Denmark) – ‘Lamp-post Light’:
Nightwish (Finland) – ‘Ghost Love Score’ live
The Deer Tracks (Sweden) – ‘Ram Ram’:
Das Body (Norway) – ‘Graceland’:
Sykur (Iceland) – ‘Curling’ (live):
Private Spotify playlist (mainly Nordic artists though not exclusively)
(We now have Nordic Music Central playlists, there is usually a new one at the end of each month.)