Nordic Music Central Viking Hero

Digvalley (Norway) – I had you (single)

Digvalley (Eirik Bøen Gravdal), who is out of Bergen, or pretty close by, paid us a visit earlier in the year with a collaborative effort together with Relayer, aka Adrien Saura. I described that song, ‘Dance beside me’, as being “70% Human League and 30% ABC”; an evident tribute to Sheffield. It definitely had a distinct 1980s flavour to it, let’s put it that way.

He returns with ‘I had you’, his first solo single in three years and a song, he says, about love and loss. Going deeper, he specifies “Destructive love, Stockholm Syndrome and about losing everything.”

Now Stockholm Syndrome has a very particular meaning although it is often ‘generalised’ these days, namely the feelings of trust or affection felt in many cases of kidnapping or hostage-taking by a victim towards a captor, one of the best known examples being heiress Patty Hearst and the Symbionese Liberation Army in the 1970s.

Add that to the odd title ‘I had you’, which British readers might relate to Pauline Calf, the dark fictitious creation of comedian Steve Coogan who’s ‘had’ every man in her neighbourhood, and it suggests some heavy stuff here.

But there’s nothing of the sort, it’s an unrequited love song pure and simple, sang in the manner of someone who can’t commit to ‘terror tactics’ in order to secure the prize.

“Would you be so kind/and try me/I hope you do” is the gentle opening gambit but it soon gives way to “I thought I had you/would never leave you” (repeat x 4) then the realisation “It’s only up to you/the things you do” before the desperation of “In this passing time/I’ll be the one getting/destroyed by you.”

Musically and vocally, it’s dreamy in nature and there is still a sense of the 1980s about it again, especially in the expressively whispered vocal and multi-tracking, but that dreaminess plays second fiddle to an air of anxiety that is there from the start.

Eirik is a skilful songwriter and has racked up over five million streams in total on Spotify from his previous collaborations, several of them ending up on New Music Friday Norway and Indielista this year.

That quality shows here.

‘I had you’ was released on Friday 9th December via Ingrooves on his own label Ifyouliketake Records. The record company has received support from Music Norway to release this year’s singles.

He was the support artist for well known Norwegian singer-songwriter Thomas Dybdahl on the same day as the single release.

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