|Frøkedal — Hold On Dreamer (26 February, 2016)|
Frøkedal — Hold On Dreamer (26 February, 2016)Location: Oslo, Norway
Album release: 26 February, 2016
Record Label: Propeller Recordings
02 Cherry Trees
03 The Man Who Isn’t Here
04 The Sign
07 Don’t Look Back
08 Demented Times
By Sean Ward, 25 February 2016; Score: 8/10
)°— Anne Lise Frøkedal has been creating and releasing music as a soloist since early last year and after gaining support from various music aficionados and radio stations, she prepares to release her debut LP Hold On Dreamer. At 34–years–old, the Norwegian songstress has no intention to vie for the pop princess crown, instead she demonstrates a worldly sophistication on this ten track song set.
)°— Opening sonnet ‘W.O.Y’ finds Anne in an introspective state, humming and cooing in time with rousing string percussion and gentle rumblings of drums, a narrative like a diary entry leaves us as listeners feeling slightly intrusive. ‘Cherry Trees’ is far more arresting, a strong statement of what Frøkedal is able to do with both her voice and intentions, crafting a rambling, alternate celtic folk in a magnificent middle ground between Laura Marling and Arcade Fire.
)°— Preceding single ‘The Sign’ has a jumbled percussive intro as all the instruments seem to simultaneously trip over each other before Anne’s eminent vocal cuts through the barrage with startling clarity. There is influence of numerous alternatives through the ages present on this record, ‘The Man Who Isn’t Here’ oozes Feist–like comparisons in vocal delivery, while its gothic art rock melodies would sit comfortably on a Lord Huron record. The album’s highlight sits at its midpoint; a psychedelic and sparkling synth paired with a menacingly hypnotic drum beat make ‘Misery’ a bewitching anthem both Natasha Khan and Stevie Nicks would be wholly proud of.
)°— A three–minute interlude entitled ‘Dream’ affects the otherwise enjoyable pace of the album as Anne performs fairly underwhelming vocal somersaults which tumble more often than balance. ‘Demented Times’ steers things back on track as the Scandinavian tones of Frøkedal’s tender vocals shine most apparent here, accompanied by little more than gentle strings. ‘Kid’ penultimately brings things home in understated momentum, its position emphasises the album’s engaging features, thoughtful songwriting and calculated pace. There is no need to present this ace card early on as Frøkedal manages to hold a hand made almost entirely of diamonds.
By Andrew Hannah / 24 FEBRUARY 2016, 11:30 GMT
)°— This coming Friday (Feb. 26th, 2016) sees the release of the debut album from Norwegian musician Frøkedal. Today, though, you can stream the album exclusively in full here at Best Fit alongside a guide to Hold On Dreamer, written by singer Anne Lise.
)°— Hold On Dreamer is a debut album that’s been a long time coming for Anne Lise Frøkedal. Having collaborated with Robyn Hitchcock and Sufjan Stevens, and led cult Norwegian act Harrys Gym for five years before the band split in 2013 it’s something of a surprise that it’s only now we’re getting to hear Frøkedal’s solo vision.
)°— Surprising because this is a voice that demands to be heard; part Laurel Canyon, part unknowable Lady of the Lake enchantment, Frøkedal sings with a pure vocal just on the verge of breaking which makes seemingly simple lines like “it just keeps pouring down, and the pines grow tall” (on “Misery”) feel like the most utterly profound of aphorisms. Backed by subtle yet grandiose instrumentation for which folk–pop is too trite a label, Hold On Dreamer is simply the sound of a special record by a special artist. It’s released and you can listen in full below, with Frøkedal’s words to guide you.
)°— For the outro I wanted a bunch of ebow guitars playing the same melody, making a similar sound as Robert Fripp’s guitar on Brian Eno’s Another Green World. I used several different guitars, even a 12–string and sat for hours sliding my finger along the guitar neck. Suddenly I woke up from the trance and discovered there was a deep groove slowly turning into a wound on my finger. And I ruined my finger for nothing: in the end only a couple of the E–bow tracks remained. Lesson learned: keep it simple.
)°— I used to live in a street in the more shady parts of Oslo East. Not much going on apart from a lot of traffic. But it had something almost no other street in Oslo has: long rows of cherry trees on each side. Every year in spring they would simultaneously blossom in pink and make me feel like I lived in the prettiest place in the world.
The Man Who Isn’t Here
)°— One of my favourites on the record. Perhaps because I wrote three complete sets of lyrics before I was happy, and for the first time overcame the feeling that ‘there is nothing I can do about the lyrics, they just turned out this way’.
)°— Olaf Olsen, who plays the drums, lives in a cozy old house outside of Oslo. I remember going out to him on a beautiful summer’s day and recorded us playing this song, me on an acoustic guitar while he was all over the drumkit. It was so much fun - and that recording remained the core of the track.
)°— This song is inspired by some of the gloominess of the landscape, and sometimes people, in the west coast of Norway, where I’m from. I have made jokes about it when playing it in this area, but they always respond in such an enthusiastic way to the track, that I suspect that they recognise something.
)°— I borrowed a sitar guitar from Frode in my other band, I Was A King, on this one and I found it so much fun to play it. The timing of the track, performed live with Familien, is so loose, though, I had to abandon half of my sitar–ideas. Which was probably a good thing anyway.
Don’t Look Back
)°— Originally this song was written as an inspiration for one of the characters in a short film made by Vibeke Heide, who has also created all of my videos. The film, Bunker, actually won the Norwegian equivalent of an Oscar!
)°— An homage to the laidback, easygoing people. I’m trying to be more like them, to think less and enjoy things more. Keeping these songs so simple has been part of that. I’ve learnt that sometimes it’s best not to complicate life and just get on and enjoy it.
)°— I asked my friends in the electronica scene to help me out with the beat on this one. One of them said to me: “Anne Lise, you already know what you have in mind, and it is probably super minimalistic, which means that it doesn’t leave a lot of creative space (or fun) for anyone. You should really give it a go yourself.” He was spot on, and I went and did it my own way.
)°— I asked Robyn Hitchcock for some help with the lyrics on this track, because I was finding it difficult. He more or less sent my own words back to me after running them through his “Robyn–filter”. The song was recorded during a day when there was an actual eclipse happening, so it contains an element of doomsday–mood that accompanies such an event. )°— http://www.thelineofbestfit.com/
|Frøkedal — Hold On Dreamer (26 February, 2016)|