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Post-Christmas/New Year Potpourri – Mari Hauge with John Morten Storflor (Norway) and Stilla Havet (Sweden)

Christmas ain’t over at NMC, no sir. Not until 12th Night.

Mari Hauge with John Morten Storflor (Norway) – Stille Natt (track from EP)

I received a communication from Mari Hauge on 31st December and as (1) it was promoting an album of five “really old” Christmas hymns, in new, stripped-down minimalist versions and (2) I hadn’t heard a single hymn or carol right the way through Christmas, I thought I should give it a go.

Mari is from Stavanger and has just released the album, called ‘Stilt under stjernetjeld’ (‘Silent under the stars) with John Morten Storflor and she says “we have harmonised, arranged and recorded the soundtrack for the Christmas we wanted for ourselves; quiet, peaceful, genuine.”

That’s what I was after but only found it through non-stop exposure to music videos!

You know, one of the things I like about Scandinavians is that they have got our language off to a tee. Note the (correct) use of the semicolon in her sentence above. I can barely manage a word of Norwegian, never mind knowing when and where to put a semikolon.

I’m not really a big Christmas Carol type but I’m sure I recall that it was this one, ‘Stille Natt’ (‘Silent Night’) that was sung simultaneously in French, English and German by troops during the Christmas Day truce of 1914 during World War I when soldiers even exchanged gifts and played each other in a football match.

It seems a good choice right now while the world is embroiled in war and I don’t see many truces going down.

What make it unusual are the acoustic guitar contribution and the laid back piano, which in parts make you think it might have been recorded in the inn that Joseph and Mary couldn’t find a room in.

In May 2023, Mari released her first solo album in Norwegian, ‘Sant at me fantes’ (‘True that I existed’), after being listed on NRK (the Norwegian equivalent of the BBC) with her debut single ‘Ukjenna’ (‘Unknown’) in 2022.


Vocals/guitar: Mari Hauge

Piano: John Morten Storflor

Find her on:




Stilla Havet (Sweden) – Gott Nytt År (Happy New Year) – single

Now we fast-forward to New Year and this banger of a (recycled) New Year anthem from Stilla Havet, a Swedish electronic new wave duo (August Borg and Elias Eriksson) that I don’t know much about except that they remind me in an odd way of New Order.

There has been a previous version of this and I’m advised that this one is “harder, sharper and synth punkier” and that it is “perfectly suited for the current climate.”

I couldn’t agree more. Another one, but in a different vein altogether from Mari’s song.

Anyway they wish you ‘Gott Nytt År’ (‘Happy New Year’) and I’ll do the same.

The only problem is that I can only find it on Soundcloud and it isn’t very loud, but enjoy anyway.

Earlier this year they released their fourth album, ‘Natten’ (‘The Night’).

Find them on:



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