Signe Marie Rustad — When Words Flew Freely (Nov. 15, 2019)
Location: Oslo, Norway
Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Album release: November 15, 2019
Record Label: Jansen/Die With Your Boots On Records
1. When Words Flew Freely (prelude) 0:49
2. Red Light Calling 5:02
3. Not Without My Pen 6:32
4. We Belong Somewhere 3:38
5. Something Easier 3:07
6. Hands Across Her Back 4:39
7. Die With Your Boots On 5:04
8. A Thousand Lights 5:52
9. When Words Flew Freely 6:21
⊆⊇ Acoustic Guitar: Kenneth Ishak (tracks: A3), Signe Marie Rustad (tracks: A5, B1, B2, B3)
⊆⊇ Arranged: Kenneth Ishak (tracks: A1, A4, A5)
⊆⊇ Kenneth Ishak: Baritone Guitar (tracks: B3)
⊆⊇ Njål Uhre Kiese: Bass Guitar (tracks: A3, A5, B1, B2, B3, B4)
⊆⊇ Helga Hommedal Blikås: Cello, Arranged (tracks: A4, A5)
⊆⊇ Signe Marie Rustad: Classical Guitar (tracks: A2)
⊆⊇ David Wallumrød: Clavinet (tracks: B1)
⊆⊇ Congas: Alexander Lindbäck (tracks: A3), Kenneth Ishak (tracks: A3)
⊆⊇ Magnus Tveten: Double Bass (tracks: B1)
⊆⊇ Jo Berger Myhre: Double Bass, Arranged (tracks: A2)
⊆⊇ Kenneth Ishak: Drum Machine (tracks: B3)
⊆⊇ Alexander Lindbäck: Drums (tracks: A3, A5, B1, B2, B3, B4)
⊆⊇ Electric Guitar: Annar By (tracks: A3, A5, B2, B3, B4), Njål Uhre Kiese (tracks: B3) Signe Marie Rustad: Field Recording (tracks: A1, B4)
⊆⊇ Geir Sundstøl: Marxophone (tracks: B1)
⊆⊇ Chris Sansom: Mastered (tracks: All Tracks)
⊆⊇ Geir Sundstøl: Pedal Steel Guitar (tracks: A2, B1)
⊆⊇ Signe Marie Rustad: Producer (tracks: All Tracks)
⊆⊇ Kenneth Ishak: Producer, Engineer, Mixed (tracks: All Tracks)
⊆⊇ Geir Sundstøl: Recorded, Engineer (tracks: A2, B1)
⊆⊇ Geir Sundstøl: Resonator Guitar (tracks: A2, B1)
⊆⊇ David Wallumrød: Synthesizer (tracks: A2, B1),
⊆⊇ Kenneth Ishak: Synthesizer (tracks: A1, A3, B1)
⊆⊇ Alexander Lindbäck: Tabla (tracks: A2)
⊆⊇ Signe Marie Rustad: Tambourine (tracks: A3, A5, B3)
⊆⊇ Upright Piano: Bjørge Verbaan (tracks: A3, A4, A5, B2, B4), Kenneth Ishak (tracks: B1)
⊆⊇ Vocals: Kristine Marie Aasvang (tracks: B1, B2), Live Miranda Solberg (tracks: A1, B1, B2), Signe Marie Rustad (tracks: All Tracks)
⊆⊇ Signe Marie Rustad: Wind Chimes (tracks: A3)
⊆⊇ All words and music by Signe Marie Rustad
⊆⊇ Produced by Kenneth Ishak & Signe Marie Rustad
⊆⊇ Recorded & mixed by Kenneth Ishak in Observatoriet Studio
⊆⊇ Additional recordings for “Red Light Calling” & “Hands Across Her Back” by Geir Sundstøl in Studio Intim.
⊆⊇ Mastered by Chris Sansom at Propeller Mastering
⊆⊇ Cover design & photography by Marthe Amanda Vannebo
⊆⊇ Artwork by Signe Marie Rustad
⊆⊇ Norwegian~American singer~songwriter Signe Marie Rustad was born and raised on a farm in central Norway, where the forest, river and fields have filled her with a deep calmness and never~ending restlessness. As a result, many of her songs carry within them a search for a balance between these elements.
⊆⊇ After catching the attention of the growing americana~loving audience in Norway with 2012 debut Golden Town — the title a reference to her mother’s hometown Golden, Colorado — Rustad secured her first Spellemann (Norwegian Grammy) nomination with critically acclaimed second album Hearing Colors Seeing Noises (2016).
⊆⊇ On upcoming third album, When Words Flew Freely, Rustad returns with the powerful, elastic voice and poetic lyrical style that has earned her a loyal fan base in Norway. The album’s nine tracks revolve around traumatic life events, and the feeling of emotional stagnation, with a severe writer’s block as a result:
⊆⊇ “Slowly moving on from personal struggles, trying to restore my emotional range and get into writing music again, I started opening up old boxes. Not just ‘boxes’ within myself, but actual boxes, of CDs, cassettes and vinyl that I listened to during my formative years. Just trying to recall how all this music would resonate within me and how it would make me feel, trying to open up to those kind of feelings again,” Rustad says of writing and recording When Words Flew Freely.
⊆⊇ Together with producer Kenneth Ishak (of Norwegian cult~band Beezewax), and with backing from new label Die With Your Boots On Records, Rustad looks to build on the success of her previous albums, with a new excursion into free~flowing, folksy, cosmic music.
⊆⊇ When Words Flew Freely is scheduled for worldwide release on November 1st, with single “Die With Your Boots On” out May 31st, and second single “Something Easier” out on September 27th.
December 9, 2019. Score: 9
Beautiful album of Scandinavian inspired Americana, do not miss it.
•⊆⊇• ‘Big in Norway’ might not seem like the kind of ringing endorsement that will have you reaching for your wallet to buy Signe Marie Rustad’s new album When Words Flew Freely; but honestly, you know what? It should. The Norwegians and their burgeoning Americana fan base clearly have an eye (and ear) for talent. Rustad was nominated for a Spelleman (Norwegian Grammy) for her second album Hearing Colors Seeing Noises in 2016 and she is without doubt a very accomplished songwriter.
•⊆⊇• Her formative years were on a farm in Norway, born to a Norwegian father and American Mother, and while it is probably fruitless to try to say what shaped her music it would be nice to think that there is a hint of crisp fresh air, of forests and bubbling icy rivers pervading and shrouding her songs. It might be the Danes that have cornered (and increasingly successfully marketed) the idea of hygge, persuading us that it is a culture. In Norway it seems more simply confined to being the word for “hug”. So be prepared for an aural cuddle — ‘When Words Flew Freely’ is musically comforting, crafted exquisitely around piano, cello, restrained guitar and gorgeous, glorious, ethereal vocals that weave and loop through every song.
•⊆⊇• But at the same time as the album draws you close, it is narrating very personal matters and it is interesting to note that the album’s gestation was held back by a severe case of writer’s block. It probably isn’t too much of an insight to read that into the title track which revolves around a refrain of “When words flew freely way back when, come back, come back, come back again”. Elsewhere, on ‘Die with Your Boots On‘, Signe Marie reflects that “I Guess the Best Music Don’t Come from Easy Living” but that “I won’t take my boots off anytime soon“. In interviews she says that it is her ‘don’t give up song’; that it is the album track with phrasing that is most recognisable as country~influenced showcases her writing versatility, entwining pathos and stoicism in a way that is recognisable but never stock.
•⊆⊇• There are many beautiful moments on this record, the intro to ‘A Thousand Lights’ is understated and a perfect foil for a chorus that leaves space for a truly wonderful vocal performance. ‘We Belong Somewhere’ is a stirring piano~led ballad which could equally be at home as a musical soundtrack, followed by. ‘Something Easier’ which has a Kate Bush cello that almost pumps the chorus along and some brilliant, echoing vocals.
•⊆⊇• References have been made to Rustad’s songs echoing Judee Sill and Joni Mitchell, and the similarity is evident right from the off with ‘Red Light Calling‘. Such a comparison is a frame of reference, not a suggestion that these songs are a facsimile. Rather Rustad has woven ’70s folk with Americana and made it modern and international — it is a first~class record.
Jedd Beaudoin, 14 Oct 2019