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I often wonder if anyone has ever done a scientific study on why it is that the Norwegian female vocal is one of the purest in the world?
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Susanne Sundfor, Line Kasa, Farao (Kari Jahnsen), Anne Lise Frøkedal, and Aurora (now so famous she can drop the surname!) have crystalline “stalagmite” ranges that not only break through the glass ceiling, they smash the Arctic circle!
Is it geographic?  Is it meteorological? Is it in the air?  Answers on a postcard to PO Box DervSwerve, so that I can take out the copyright, make my millions, and happily retire to the Tundra, equipped with thermals, my trusty Yamaha and a vat of hot chocolate.
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What has all this got to do with the latest effortlessly cool #Scandiravian synth sensation, NorwEnglish three-piece, Antler?  Well, a lot actually!.
Frontwoman, Natali Abrahamsen Garner, falls smack bang into the “pure as the driven Norwegian snow” bracket.  With a voice that has all the delicacy of Aurora, laced with the provocative breathiness of Nina Persson (think ‘Erase & Rewind’) but with a jaggedy edge a la disco diva, Roisin Murphy, Garner has a vocal that not only attracts attention, it softly and candescently commands it.
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Alongside Garner, Antler is Johan Lindvall on synth and Axel Skalstad on drums. Snapped up by fledgling record company, No Forevers, Antler recorded their debut album earlier this year in Greener Studios, Trondheim, with the help of technical whizzkids Karl Klaseie and Jørgen Træen.
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Antler’s style shifts between electronic dance-pop and alt-pop jazz with a heavy reliance on multiple layers of synth and electronic sounds.  Their debut single, ‘Animal’ dropped in Norway a few weeks ago.  A confection of interesting quirky harmonies,  spiralling twinkling synths and strong percussive beats, it’s a catchy, offbeat piece of electronic pop that is both charmingly engaging and irresistible.
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These three young musicians take their very fluid influences from the various bands (improv/pop/electronic) in which they’ve played, as well as from their own personal musical tastes, which range from jazz through to electronica and alt-rock.  They cite RadioHead, PortisHead, Little Dragon and Nils Bech amongst their personal preferences, to name but a few.  Rather than taking the “this is what we do guys” stance, their approach to music is very open minded, in the vein of, whatever flows when they come together, Que Sera Sera.

The dip

“It washes over me like a transparent gel

it makes me sticky allowing light to pass through exhibiting me clearly”

Today sees the release of Antler’s second single, ‘The Dip’.  An altogether slower tempoed edgier affair, this is a song where Garner’s vocal comes into it’s sweet, provocative own. Her nuanced interpretation is as beguiling as it is magnetic, as she delicately tiptoes up through the higher reaches of her vocal range.  The synth sequences are well thought out, comprising wonderfully contrasting expressive elements of light and shade between the bass and treble chords.
Where ‘Animal’ is electronica awash with dance pop sensibilities, ‘The Dip’, is alt-pop, with a gentle nod to soft jazz on the bass synth sequences, fused with some really intelligent drumming.  Cymbal infested, natty snare parts give this track animation and are a noisy counter to the of the lightness of the vocal and high pitched siren-synth elements.
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‘The Dip’  is based on those conflicting feelings we experience when we come to realise that practically everything we do in our day to day lives, is for others rather than ourselves; be that family, employers, society, etc.  It uses the image of ‘slavery’ to convey the notion that somehow, we can never truly be in charge of our destiny, as long as we let the ‘monster’ around us, feed on and control us.  Somehow, we have managed to allow ourselves to be bound into a state of worthlessness, humiliation and stagnation.
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Edgy and provocative, slightly eccentric, sweetly quirky, ‘The Dip’ is a finally balanced meld of lush melody, catchy hook and captivating vocal, complemented by some extremely impressive musical interpretation.  Nothing “below par” about ‘The Dip’ (pun).  It is in a word, “Irresistible”.
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Antler have already established a cohort of loyal Norwegian fans, having played the Summer festival circuit from Øyafestivalen to GutFeelings #6.  They have received much support from Norwegian radio stations Radio Nova, Radio Revolt and the big national, NRK P3, who recently awarded them the title “band with the best beat”.  (Big into their titles NRK P3 aren’t they!!)

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Antler will play at Phonofestivalen, Bergen, in January, and are scheduled to play the serious music lovers music fest, Trondheim Calling in February 2016, which they will follow with the release of their debut album in March.  You can listen to new single, ‘The Dip’ here.  Enjoy x

You can buy/download ‘The Dip’ via various links, here,

Tidal: http://goo.gl/nrz49g
Spotify: https://goo.gl/XaXoMl
iTunes: https://goo.gl/bCZcEk
Soundcloud: https://goo.gl/1w5yW1

You can follow Antler’s exploits via No Forevers Records – here.

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