One of Scandinavia’s most lovingly-curated new-music festivals, the seventh edition of Sørveiv throws its curtains wide this weekend.
The two-day Nordic tunefest takes over a diverse bunch of venues in Kristiansand, a city on the south Norwegian coast that’s increasingly culture-fuelled. As a handy service for those who may be attending - Designated Sørveivors – and indeed everybody else, Clash has taken a good trawl through the programme, plucked out choice cuts from five of the acts rocking up, and presents them below as a sort of virtual mini festival.
It’s just like being there, but without the brisk, bracing walks between venues. Honestly, take that coat off in here, you won’t feel the benefit.
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Nelson Can – ‘Break Down Your Walls’
A three-females outfit from Copenhagen who’ve returned from a rejuvenating let’s-stay-friends sabbatical and suddenly find their bluesy, punky but intriguingly guitar-free riffs getting prime-time TV exposure back home. Which is a handy bonus.
This bass-driven epic from their recent EP (out via Alcopop in the UK) will twang around your head like an elastic hat.
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I Am K – ‘Stars’
I Am K are Kristiansand locals who’ve distilled the essence of Scandinavian popular music into one song here; a potent shot of pop schnapps. ‘Stars’ kicks off with some endearingly daffy lyrics which sound very like “hide it in your bucket” and, “pretend to be a clam when you walk around” although, thinking about it, might actually be “pocket” and “clown.” Let’s hope not.
Anyway, it then launches into a wild singalong of a chorus, before ending admirably abruptly. Bang, done, and onto the next one.
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Jon Olav – ‘Hei Erna’
Speaking of quintessential Scandi, this even-quirkier Nordic curiosity covers a lot of bases: the woolly jumper, the woolly hat, the Norwegian flag sticking out of his backpack. Olav is something of a sensation back home, apparently, and this video went down particularly well.
Imagine how a Norwegian version of MTV would look: this is probably how you’d imagine it.
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Natalie Sandtorv – ‘Higher Rituals’
Search for Natalie Sandtorv on your preferred video hosting site and a live ‘voice and gong performance’ should pop up pretty sharpish, which is not a combo you see enough these days. Her first single is not overtly troubled by gong, admittedly, but there’s all sorts of other business going on there, including a trippy jazzy breakdown that would terrify a horse.
Sandtorv looks like the sort of character who might well be an extra-terrestrial lifeform briefly assuming human form, but probably isn’t.
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Get Your Gun – ‘You’re Nothing’
The Westmark brothers also have a bit of jazz in their bones (jazz extraction should only be attempted by experienced medical practitioners) although you may not sense that from this mighty beast. Kenny G it isn’t.
‘You’re Nothing’ is from the brothers’ recent second album ‘Doubt Is My Rope Back to You’, which firmly establishes them as Denmark’s prime purveyors of grand, grizzly, attention-grabbing rock. Always good to see a haircut and a horse in a video, too.
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Words: Si Hawkins
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