If you’re doing a double take here I can understand why. It wasn’t that long ago that we featured Norwegian jazz rock fusion band Aadal and their single ‘Voyager.’
Now up crops another and similarly-named band, Sordal, with the single ‘Bon Voyage’. These Norwegians never got the seafaring Viking thing out of their system did they?
And here’s the thing. Two of Aadal’s band members are also in Sordal, namely the leader Michael Aadal, and drummer Gunnar Sæter.
Sordal have been around for quite a few years and have released several albums.
But there is a subtle difference as much of the Aadal jazz influence is removed in favour of ‘indie rock’ or Americana influenced soft rock as I think I’d call it. Perhaps even yacht rock at a pinch. It’s smooth enough for sure.
The songwriter here is Stein Roger Sordal, also the vocalist, but this song is based on one of Michael Aadal’s tunes called ‘Revival’ from the first Aadal album to which Stein Roger added lyrics and developed more melodic lines, and the arranging was done together during the recording process.
Ok, so there’s the background.
I’ve noted previously how Michael Aadal manages to make the physical setting apparent in his songs, for example the seas and oceans. Not quite so much in this instance though. There’s perhaps more of a cowboy western feel to it, as the wagon train sets out on its hopeful journey west (or the other way in ‘Wagons East’, John Candy’s last film, one of the funniest I ever saw).
Lyrically it does sound like an obscure break up song with dark undertones and imagery; unfortunately I can’t catch all the words to draw any certainty out of that statement. What I do hear can be cutting.
“Nobody really needs to feel the curtains closing/nobody wants to hear that the end is near from a fed up little girl…
But the likes of you can feed the social medias/and it’s the likes of you who wishes happy health from the afterworld.”
A talented but overly ambitious airheaded wannabe destined to drug out at 27?
While the entire band is extremely competent and the tune will stick in your head no matter what, the smooth, rich sound showcases Michael Aadal’s guitar skills in particular in different ways to how he does within his own band, especially in the sublimely simple melodic bridge, without a shred of unnecessary shred.
‘Bon Voyage’ is available on streaming services since 30th June.
Stein Roger Sordal – vocals/songwriter/acoustic guitar
Michael Aadal – electric guitars
Kenneth Silden – keyboards
Bjarne Severinsen – bass
Gunnar Sæter- drums.
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