Nordic Music Central Viking Hero

Kate Havnevik (Norway) – Taking Flight (single/track & video from forthcoming album)

One way or another I seem to feature many Norwegian ‘experimental artists’ but then again, there are a lot of them. Here’s another, Kate Havnevik, whose ‘Into Dark’ was premiered in June of this year, a song about “people re-inventing themselves and wanting to escape.”

I described it as “an electronic wall of sound which ebbs and flows with elements of krautrock supplemented by the explosiveness of, say Jenny Hval…a melody from a Miami Vice car chase for example.” I also noted that it seems there is no regular style as such where Kate Havnevik is concerned. While that track is unrestrained, another recent release, ‘Starlight Fires’, is much lighter in tone, almost melancholic.

Now she has released a video for her latest single ‘Taking Flight’, taken from her forthcoming album, which is out this autumn. Escapism figures largely here, too, in fact it is an ode to it, the need to flee the often overwhelming pressure of modern society. It features Guy Sigsworth, a regular production partner who has worked with some little-known artists like Björk, Madonna and Alanis Morisette.

I said that ‘Into Dark’ didn’t remind me of any of the above but there are distinct shades of Alanis Morisette in the opening bars here and I thought it was her making a cameo appearance at first. ‘Taking Flight’ is distinctly more pop-oriented than its predecessor but at the same time it’s never going to edge into, say, Britney Spears territory. As it progresses it becomes quite anthemic, verging even on Irene Cara’s ‘I’m gonna live forever’ in the intensity of its message, which of course  is a 1980s classic and you do get the impression this song is of that era.

The video is supposed to be representative of the liberation and discovery that are woven into the lyrics, “following three tethered souls as they transition from distance and isolation into unity and connection” and the producer, Gotti Sigurdarson, says he “couldn’t get the image of an 80’s teenage movie out of his head and particularly a typical 80’s teen flick, with angst, excitement and heartbreaks.”

Now this is where I sometimes vary from the script because I do believe that videos can occasionally be a little pretentious. This one isn’t but I’m not convinced that the rubber legged aerobic exercises and synchronised posing are really suggestive of the above, nor the apparent recreation of John Hurt’s ‘extraterrestrial lizard bursting out of his chest’ scene. Perhaps it is just a little too ‘arty’?

On the other hand it is very well filmed and one part of it did make me think of Arcade Fire’s video for ‘Sprawl II – Mountains beyond Mountains’, which is no bad thing.

What really takes flight here though is the excellent song.

Find her on –



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