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Exclusive pre-release track: Marte Eberson (Norway) – Adore you (single, recorded live)

Throughout 2023 Marte Eberson frequently popped up in NMC, with a series of single releases, then her very well received album ‘Free’ in October, followed by a Christmas single. I thought she might have given herself a break but she’s a thoroughbred workhorse and only days into 2024 she’s back with another new single, the first of a whole fresh batch of them that will likely redefine ‘Marte Pop’ again – and it’s a banger.

‘Adore you’, which was not included on ‘Free’, is a little unusual for Marte in that there is typically an underlying sense of uncertainty in her songs, a guarded approach towards love and relationships. She relishes them and wants to keep them going as long as she can but at the same time she is desperate to hang on to her precious freedom and the two objectives stand in stark contrast to, and get in the way of, each other.

She’s the Norwegian female embodiment of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘Free Bird.’ “And this bird you cannot change…”

Not so much on ‘Adore you’ though. While there is a lingering hesitation still – it may be his change of heart, of attitude to her, or of appearance (“you came on back like somebody different”), even of deodorant or underwear, or just a supply of chocolates and flowers that has prompted the adoration, the declarative statement of the title is there for all to hear. Lucky guy.

Vocally there is a subtle change here too as Marte develops an authority I haven’t heard since her days as (inter alia) a backing vocalist in Highasakite, which is what brought her to my attention in the first place. At times here she is right up there in Edith Piaf territory, and je ne regrette rien in saying that.

The song, which is trip hoppy in nature – another first for Marte to the best of my knowledge (pardon me for asking again, is there anything she can’t do?) was recorded live during her album launch gig at Parkteatret in Oslo in November.

Lars Voldsdal who recorded the concert and then mixed it, produced something that Marte thought sounded “pretty cool” with its live show energy and considered it would be a good idea to release it that way. I concur.

Live albums are 10-a-penny of course, or at least they were, but live singles much rarer. Despite its length (seven and a half minutes, partly on account of an extended instrumental bridge) there is both the quality and the novelty aspect here that might just attract foreign DJs to play it, as tough as it is to achieve that aim, especially here in the UK. I hope they do because Marte deserves it.

While all the supporting musicians and backing singers do a sterling job, a quick note about the drummer, who I believe is Marius Simonsen, and Marte’s regular percussionist. I’m not too familiar with his work other than on her recordings but here he manages to lay down the funkiest of grooves early doors before battering the kit like John Bonham towards the end and he is responsible for much of the muscle in what is a very potent song.

Marte’s a smart cookie in every way. Just think about the subliminal message of the artist name and the song title together. Marte Eberson. Adore you. I’m sure many will do after hearing this. She should be in the advertising business.

I predict a breakthrough year for Marte in 2024, and I mean big style, internationally, not just in Drammen or Lillestrøm. It’s usually the kiss of death when I say that but not this time, methinks.

‘Adore You’ is released on 19th January on the Grappa label.

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