Back in May we had the first Potpourri when we were overwhelmed with releases. And now we have to do it again just to keep up.
Every day there is a Potpourri there will be three brief reviews, each based on one hearing, of artists/bands and their latest songs, including sample tracks from EPs and albums as appropriate.
Another new innovation just for this section is an ‘out of 10’ assessment (I won’t say ‘mark’, this isn’t a competition).
Sofia Hedia (Denmark) – Vi Er Større (single)
Let’s get underway with Denmark’s Sofia Hedia and ‘Vi Er Større’ which Mr Google translated as ‘We are bigger’ but I’m sure it means something else. Stronger? Perhaps.
She wrote this power ballad after a theatrical break and it describes, in a poetically straightforward way, a relationship where you actually realise that it might be over. But it still lives on inside because it was an uplifting experience while it lasted, and dealing with the mixed emotions is what makes you stronger.
Sofia has a powerful vocal delivery and certainly knows how to belt when she has to.
Musically the melody isn’t perhaps as strong as it might be but the sheer power of what might at a pinch be a Eurovision song more than makes up for it.
Helena Montgomery (Sweden) – Electric (single)
Sweden’s Helena Montgomery has been hereon numerous occasions previously, the last occasion being just last month in a band called Bulletproof Poets.
Now she’s back to her solo ways with ‘Electric’, a song inspired by films like Bonnie & Clyde and Thelma & Louise and with an accompanying cinematic bent.
There’s always plenty of musical, lyrical and vocal quality in Helena Montgomery’s songs, you expect it and she delivers without fail but this one is notable for a shift in style. It’s laid back but there’s an undercurrent of tension, a frisson of excitement as if a life of vicariously wild living on the edge is about to come to a violent end in the same way as Butch, Sundance, Parker, Barrow, Thelma and Louise’s collectively did.
“It’s us or never” as she sings.
And all underwritten by a thrilling combination of guitar and synthesisers in an arrangement John Williams and Hans Zimmer would be proud of.
Gienlyd (Denmark) – Blid | Blød (Gentle:Soft) (single)
If you want to chill now for any reason, look no further than Copenhagen based artist Gienlyd with this, the debut single, a relaxing piece of intertwining cyclical melodies that was made “in the hopes that the listener can use it to catch their breath in the hectic reality we live in”, adding “it’s well suited as background music and for use in relaxation and meditation.”
Altruism never made anyone famous in the music business but I respect Gienlyd hugely for making the time to do this and yes, it is gentle, soft and relaxing.
Based on a gently strummed acoustic guitar, synthesised notes that sound like a glockenspiel, a bass guitar and quietly hummed vocals it carries many of the hallmarks of ‘Tubular Bells’ to the point where you’re waiting for Master of Ceremonies Viv Stanshall to intervene with “…and last, Blid Blød.”
Perhaps it lasts a tad too long at five minutes but you’ll be awoken from your reverie with a jolt by the sudden-est of sudden endings.
Gienlyd by the way translate as ‘Gone Sound’ courtesy of Mr Google but again I’m sure it must mean something else. Danish band names fascinate me since I discovered Lydmor means Sound Mother.
Stay tuned for more Danish lessons.
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