Arctic Assembly (Greenland et al) – Isumaat (single/track from forthcoming album)
Here’s an interesting one. We are Nordic Music Central after all so it’s fitting that we should feature this single from Arctic Assembly, which constitutes the effort of 14 songwriters from across the Nordic countries and who came together at a boot camp held at Nuuk, the capital of Greenland to take part in the Arctic Assembly project.
They were tasked with forming different band configurations and collaboratively creating, writing, and recording an entire album in just two days. A sort of frozen Polyphonic Spree.
The participants went on to perform their new songs at the Arctic Sounds Festival.
The result of this Nordic musical experiment, the album ‘Arctic Assembly,’ will be out digitally and on vinyl on December 1st. The experiment has also become a TV documentary that will air on Danish National TV in December.
The song ‘Isumaat’ was chosen as the first single and it is originally the work of the project’s youngest participant, 21-year-old Naja Parnuuna from Greenland. She had just a verse and a chorus for the song when she first met two other participants, including Lea from the Faroe Islands, another Danish territory whose musicians only rarely appear in these pages although I am reminded that Brimheim paid us a visit this week. And I can only think of Simon Lynge as a representative of Greenland.
Anyway, Naja placed her trust in them to grasp her ideas, and they did so. The song turned into a folky indie-pop song that is likely to be the first song ever in Greenlandic and other Nordic languages at the same time.
It starts off sounding like one of those musk oxen that chased me when I got out of a helicopter there on my one and only visit. I broke the world record for clambering back into a helicopter.
It quickly strikes up a slow steady beat over which Naja’s sweet vocal lies enticingly, like she’s welcoming you into the igloo she just built for a cup of Greenlandic coffee (which they set on fire before you drink it) . The melody is simple, a repetition of the title (which I haven’t been able to translate) but memorable, and it’s a slow burner with a subtle accompaniment that builds towards a quite heavenly finale.
It could quite easily become a Christmas song, and not just in Nuuk. But perhaps what can best be taken from it is the ability of a new community formed out of differing values and cultural backgrounds, to be so creative and productive in such a short space of time.
The single is released on November 17th. The album ‘Arctic Assembly,’ will be out digitally and on vinyl on December 1st.
Find them on:
Motylki (Sweden) – Mirror Mirror (two-track debut single)
Motylki is a new duo but one formed by artists that NMC readers may be familiar with, namely Anti Zurowski (Nova Blast, Happy Hour) and Tess de la Cour (Snake, Memoria). They came together out of their shared love of distortion, fuzz and glitter.
‘Mirror Mirror’ is their debut, and two track, single.
There are a couple of firsts here. I’ve never seen Tess on the drums, or without jet black Goth hair before. Blonde, she looks like an angel.
This one will burn a hole right through your head if you play it too loudly on your headphones. It’s lo-fi, grungy punkish mayhem from first note to last. They make most other rock bands sound like Andy Williams singing to a piano accompaniment from Richard Clayderman.
As is usually the case with Tess at least there is an eye catching video to go with it. She’s usually telling a story, often in full costume but here she just shares the joy of cranking out perhaps the noisiest song to come out of Sweden all year.
Oh, and underpinning the melody with the same three chords that play out Kim Wilde’s ‘Kids in America’ helps as well.
‘Mirror Mirror’ (the other song is ‘Glitch’) –
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