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Signe Marie Rustad (Norway) – Waiting (single/track from forthcoming album)

Signe Marie Rustad (Norway) – Waiting (single/track from forthcoming album)

I was confident that we’d featured Signe Marie Rustad in the past but apparently not, so welcome onboard NMC to SMR!

Her forthcoming third album, ‘Particles of Faith’, will be released this year and this single is a track from it.

It appears to be one of those songs that many artists have in their locker – and we’ve had more than our fair share of them recently – and which go unnoticed or even unloved for some time. In this case it is ‘Waiting’  which finally found its place.

She says the song is like “a snapshot of what it feels like when you find yourself observing your own life instead of living it.” Treading water, I suppose, but it runs deeper than that as she adds. “At times, I’ve found it too hard to open up to my own emotions, thoughts, and passion, because the intensity of it – good or bad – has felt like too much to handle. Easier then, to just dip my toes in, instead of emerging my whole body.”

Her influences run across the gamut of the business and include alternative pop/rock from the 80’s and 90’s including R.E.M., Fiona Apple, Crowded House and Tori Amos. That ticks one almighty box with me (Apple) and Amos as well.

The PR argues that the album is hard to place in any one genre, “melding the Americana sound present on her first two albums with the broader singer-songwriter tradition, helmed by pioneers such as Joni Mitchell and Carole King” but that those influences all played their part, too.

It’s certainly an interesting mix. Fundamentally, the song is a piece of Americana in the instrumentation and arrangement and with a smart little pedal steel guitar solo at the end which plays it out. But there’s more to it than that, especially in the bridge where it veers off into indie pop territory especially in her phrasing, which contains Apple-like elements.

It’s hard to pin down her style, and cross-genre is the best I can offer too, without making my brain hurt.

Her vocal is both relaxing and attention-grabbing at the same time; another contradiction.

Clearly she’s an artist with the ability to challenge the listener.

The song, and the album, was produced by Rustad along with Kenneth Ishak, who I believe we featured just after launching, back in 2021 and he provides backing vocals on some of the album tracks.

Both are released by the intriguingly titled label Die With Your Boots On Records. If you’re in London or the south of England  DWYBO in collaboration with their parent label Jansen Records are bringing a group of Norwegian acts (Signe Marie Rustad, Louien, Ole Kirkeng, The NorthernBelle, Malin Pettersen & Darling West) to Hackney for UK Americana Music Week 2023, (25 January).

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