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Marte Eberson’s (Norway) Five Course Musical Feast (+ new single Come Around)

Our series, the ‘Five Course Musical Feast’ is one in which an artist selects five songs and tells us in a few words why they mean so much to them. (Not why they could eat them! It’s just a figurative turn of speech!)

There hasn’t been one for a while and we’re heading back to Norway and this time around where it is the turn of Marte Eberson to select her own gourmet ‘Desert Island Discs’.

Readers may know Marte, we’ve been featuring successive releases from her forthcoming album and the most recent one, ‘Come Around’, which is out on 12th May,is reviewed at the end here. I’m sure it won’t be long before Marte shows up in someone else’s Feast selection.

In the meantime some of these artists have influenced her in the making of her album, her second solo one.

I wondered what sort of selection Marte would come up with. As she was trained in jazz music I thought that at least one of the jazz greats would figure but as it turned out it’s a pretty eclectic mix, and some of them come out of the blue.

So, over to Marte.

  1. Thundercat – Them Changes

“I discovered Thundercat for the first time when I saw his name as a feature on Kendrick Lamar’s album ‘Pimp a butterfly’. I started to research and found his solo work. And loved it at once! I think this song is the one I’ve listen to most often. I really like the lyrics and the bass line. It’s very catchy and mysterious. I wish I had written this song…”

  1. Men I Trust – Hard to let go

“Men I Trust is a ‘DIY’ indie band from Montréal, Canada. I actually found them on Instagram, because a friend of mine was posting a story with their song ‘Lauren’. I kind of fell in love with the music immediately. And then I started to check out their big catalogue, and they had so many good songs. I really like how they mix jazz and improvisation with funk and pop. It’s catchy and clean, but not too pop. All their music has really inspired me in the making of my new album.”

  1. Julie London – Laura

“I have listened to Julie London since I was a teenager. I love her voice! It’s so soft and intimate. I have listened to all her records, but this song is so short and sweet. And it’s kind of dramatic in a way. Singing about a memory of ‘Laura’, but now she’s only a dream, with a lot of reverb on the vocal makes the whole thing very dreamy and kind of scary I think. Her voice and how she sings her words has really inspired me in how I am trying to sing. I always come back to her to find inspiration and I think I always will.”

  1. Jenny Wilson – Like a fading rainbow

“Jenny is a Swedish artist and I started to listen to her when I was studying jazz piano in Bergen, back in 2007. I shared an apparent vision with a Swedish girl and she showed me so much music I never had heard before. Among them, Jenny Wilson, and also the amazing Loney Dear. I really like this song and her voice! Not too many parts and not too many instruments. It feels so raw and clean. I think she has been a huge inspiration to many of the Scandinavian artists.”

  1. Blonde Redhead – Will there be stars

“Blonde Redhead is an alternative indie rock band from New York. This is also something I started to listen to when I was studying in Bergen. I was recording some of my music in a studio and the sound engineer told me that my music sounded like Blonde Redhead. I had never heard of them, so I went home and started to listen to it. And the album I liked the most was the album ‘Penny Sparkle’. I love all the songs on that album! I think ‘Will there be Stars’ has a very good melody. I reminds me of an A-ha song, not quite sure which one… maybe because of the chord changes, but mostly because of the melody on top. It’s so dreamy and hopeful.”

Thanks to Marte for these picks; and I have to say I like them all, too, especially Blonde Redhead.

So now we move swiftly on to Marte’s latest single, from her forthcoming album

Review: Marte Eberson (Norway) – Come Around (single)

I think this song must have been written for me as Marte says it is dedicated “to those who feel they have failed a lot in life.”

I’ve begun to wonder if the album is a concept one as she has explored many aspects of the human condition in it and often with reference to herself in the songs she has been drip feeding since this time last year.

Amongst the subjects she’s covered are wandering pointlessly around the city on a ‘Bad day’; the surreal state of mind you can get into when you are desperate over a lost love, the ‘Blood on my fingers’ coming from the hole where his heart used to be; and the ‘White Birds’ of hope that she trusts will be the antidote to her angst.

This time, she’s singing about those that are cowed by the opinions of others, to the point where they believe themselves to be outsiders. Not part of the crowd.

Her answer to those ‘others’ is, not to put too fine a point on it, “F*** Off. I may not be as ‘good’ as you but at least I’m real.” By which I’m sure she means someone who is worthy of respect even if she doesn’t shout the odds about it.

Well at least that’s the story but I suspect a lot more can be read into this song. It’s got a sultry feel to it right from the start which is at odds with the official description.

The opening 10 seconds alone made me think of the film ‘The Lady in Red’ when Kelly LeBrock walks over the ventilation shaft. You know the one I mean. And if you don’t read it that way you certainly will when there’s a wolf whistle miraculously provided courtesy of a guitar.

It’s very sultry throughout, Marte’s breathless voice underpinned by Stian Larsen’s guitar, which might have floated out of studio in Venice Beach and which gets a fabulously solid shredding later on, and a strident bass line which could be counting out time to the raunchiest scene in ‘The Story of O’.

I’m not kidding you; it really is that hot.

But if you listen to the lyrics it stays close to the script as described above. Even then though there’s some debate. Is she inviting him to come around so they can patch things up, so she can prove to him that the ‘package’ is more than just what is visible to him, or because she’s just feeling horny tonight? After all, he is “my baby” throughout, not really one of ‘the others.’

Or is she asking him to ‘come around’ in the manner of coming to his senses?

To paraphrase Johnny Nash, there are more questions than answers, but they don’t detract at all from the song, and especially so if you regard it as another chapter in her story. It’s like she’s unveiling an autobiography, piece by piece.

It’s catchy, it’s cool, it’s sexy.

She says, “When meeting people, I can feel that I am so imperfect in relation to them”. She doesn’t need to fear any ‘imperfection’ where this song is concerned; one of the best if not the best in her current catalogue.

The song was written together with Lasse Midtsian Nymann. The band consists of Marius Simonsen on drums, Endre Hareide Hallre on bass and Stian Larsen on guitar. It is released by Grappa Musikkforlag AS.

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Photo: Oslo Productions.

Photo: Oslo Productions.

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