Nordic Music Central Viking Hero

Todd & Karen (Norway/Ireland) – Norwegian Summer (single)

I have to admit that I’m not usually a fan of tongue-in-cheek lightweight send-ups but there are numerous home truths in ‘Norwegian Summer’ and the simple story is told in a series of memorable sound bites.

What’s more, this isn’t the only one. I see they’ve recorded a song called ‘Blackpool Lights’ earlier and if anything deserves a send up that does.

 Todd & Karen is a Norwegian-Irish duo out of Kongsberg, a mining town about 75km southwest of Oslo, consisting of Øyvind Berge and Ina Verdi-Ruckstuhl. The assumed names again suggest some mickey taking. ‘Karen’ I get but someone will have to put me right about Todd. The Irish influence comes from Ina (Cork).

The subject matter, as it says on the tin, is the notoriously short Scandinavian summertime, and especially the one in Norway, which seems to be like Canada, going from summer to winter via an autumn that lasts a nano-second. I reckon Greta would have something to say about that and would produce statistics to show those summers are getting longer and hotter but Todd & Karen speak on behalf of the real folk who know to expect “another bummer.”

Having said that, actually there is a line, “let’s hope it won’t be our last”, followed shortly after by “be sure to enjoy while it lasts”, which suggests that perhaps there is a hidden environmental message lingering in there. Make of that what you will.

The song is as short as the summer and carries a pleasantly memorable melody which, like the lyrics, won’t tax you.

I can’t see it being nominated for the Spellemannprisen but so what, it’s easy on the ear, entertaining and amusing. What more could you ask for?

And that goes for the video, which has Ina (I think) sunbathing on a lakeside beach in a pullover, trapper hat and thick Norwegian socks. They do that in Blackpool, too.

It’s the sort of quirkiness you might expect to find in The Simpsons. Think of it like that and you’ll be well prepared.

‘Norwegian Summer’ is out now.

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