Nordic Music Central Viking Hero

Songs for the End of the Day 25th February from Alterne, Mildfire, and Louise Lemón

Something of an experiment here. We rarely try to cram three reviews into one post, but needs must as new releases are breeding faster than rabbits just now.

All three of these artists have been here before so let’s get started with

Alterne (Denmark) – Lad mig ligge her, Pt 2″ (Let me lie here, Pt 2) (single)

This is their second single after ‘Alle terner’ at the beginning of the month and it will also feature on their forthcoming debut album, which will be released on April 19th.

The previous song was a tribute to all the important (but not usually famous) people who have crossed your path and the lasting value of the interactions with them which may have been fleeting at best (ships that pass in the night and all that).

‘Lad mig ligge her, Pt 2’ translated as ‘Let me lie here, Pt 2’suggests the need to show the door to personal concerns and the worries of the world alike and to live in the moment for a while. And I’m all for carpe diem as I’ve said many times. Perhaps even carpe dream.

And no, I don’t know what happened to Part 1, but I don’t care either because this elegantly plucked, pumped and stroked acoustic piece, together with singer Ida Marie Jessen’s vocal, which somehow contrives to be both urgent and soothing at the same time, managed to relieve me of all concerns in just four and a half minutes, and far more convincingly than any cognitive behaviour or hypnotherapy course.

Try it, I’ll bet you it works for you too, and anything that does what it says on the tin is fine by me.

The Alterne trio also includes Belgian violinist Oscar Beerten and Estonian accordionist Maimu Jõgeda.

Find them on:



Mildfire (Norway/Germany) – Never Change (live) (sample track from album Kids in traffic

Mildfire released their ‘How to be an astronaut’ EP last November and three of the astronomically related songs from it have turned up on a full length (11-track) album, ‘Kids in traffic’, along with their debut single ‘Never change’, which we also covered, a song about unconditional love; the shock of being forgiven and not abandoned.

In fact if I understand it the album is a compilation of three previously released EPs.

Sometimes in these circumstances it is difficult to select a sample track but this time it was quite easy because tacked on to the end of the album, at least on Spotify – is a ‘live version’ of ‘Never change’ although I can’t offer any more information about it, such as where it was recorded; it could be at a show, or as a warm-up rehearsal prior to one or in the studio.

It is the only occasion on which I’ve been able to hear anything ‘live’ from them, and as good as the ‘studio’ version is I marginally prefer this slowed down one, to which has been added a beguiling piece of mandolin playing. Or it might be a lute, I’m afraid my instrument recognition isn’t what it could be.

They are instruments there isn’t a lot of call for usually but fit some songs perfectly and this is one of them.

Some of their work can quite frenetic at times. They talk in the album PR of it being “the sound of mental breakdowns and complete euphoria – and the dullness in between”, adding that “writing these songs saved us. Along with therapy. We wanted to make a collection of songs that celebrate the mistakes you learn from.”

No mistakes made here and little to learn. Just a delightful little song beautifully delivered vocally by Julie Ofelia Østrem Ossum, who I have come across in at least one other band. You never forget a name like that.

Find them on:



Louise Lemón (Sweden) – Topanga Canyon (sample track from album Lifetime of tears)

I’ve only reviewed Louise Lemón once before, a single and track that is also on this album, but I found it difficult to know where to slot her in, in the overall scheme of things.

For example she is portrayed as ‘the Queen of Death Gospel’ and there was a strong element of mood music in that previous track. She is mentioned in the same breath as PJ Harvey and Lana Del Rey and that adds up.

Then again I see in the latest press release that she has been reviewed by classic rock, metal and prog magazines. They must all perceive some kinship with her like she’s some musical polymath.

Then, to add further fuel to the fire visually she looks angelic, like a mainstream pop performer.

So who is the real Louise Lemón? I reckon she is all of these things but finding a sample track from her new album ‘Lifetime of tears’, was always going to be hard from an album she describes “as taking a lifetime to create, made out of love, through darkness in to the light” and one that “takes you through the passage of re-birth”, which sounds very St Vincent.

Eventually I opted for the ultimate track, ‘Topanga Canyon’, not because it is actually representative of the album (it isn’t) but because that particular place sums up the eccentricity of US life in the 2020s, known equally for its eclectic living, with artists, musicians and movie stars scrambling to get away from Los Angeles and live somewhere a little more whimsical while at the same time being the haunt of hard faced multi-millionaires, some of them from that fraternity, and of the founder of Black Lives Matter, who had one of her mansions there.

Yep, a bit weird.

I’m fairly sure Louise didn’t mean it this way at all but it comes across to me as a lament for what America has become, a country that, one way or another, has lost its way. Part acoustically/electronically instrumental and part hauntingly vocal, it is to the Santa Monica Mountains what Julee Cruise’s ‘Falling’ is to Twin Peaks.

And that’s no mean praise.

Find her on:




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