Songstress Kari Harneshaug is one of the most unique performers on the contemporary Norwegian music scene. Theatrical, arresting, delicate, evocative, this quirky kameleon is capable of sweeping across the octaves with broad strokes of both fire and ice, in a style that veers from quietly understated to intensely melodramatic!
“I can hear your thoughts from miles away, from the north to the south, from to east to west – A wicked pain, through my chest”
Irish/UK music fans will know what I mean when I say that Kari Harneshaugs’s voice is somewhat redolent of a vocal betwixt a young jazzy Mary Coughlan and the ever beguiling Jessie Ware. Quirky, moving, intriguing and always theatrical – whether in subtle or impassioned mode – Harneshaug is the consummate performer with a fluid, broad-ranging voice to suit all situations.
On her last single, ‘For Our Love’, Kari’s vocal performance was commanding and powerful, whereas on ‘Wild One’, her new single out today, she draws on a softer but no less expressive side of her vocal timbre.
‘Wild One’ is a slow Country/Americana style ballad, which revolves around repetitive guitar sequences that gently swirl under the vocal ebb and flow of Harneshaug’s emotional tides. It glides slowly and softly, like a piece of music from one of the dreamier sequences of a Twin Peaks soundtrack, with its drawly, languid guitars and emotive vocal.
“Your behaviour towards me sticks a knife through my bones”
This tranquil bubble is dramatically burst with the abrupt introduction of a searing, jagged electric guitar sequence, which can only be described as the musical equivalent of being electrocuted. Is this fierce, albeit brief, musical storm an allusion to the emotional conflict and distress conveyed in the lyrics? Maybe this clever piece of musical theatrics is a reference to the pain caused by the knife piercing Harneshaug’s bones? Who knows!
After this elongated scorching thrum, the track once again dons a mantle of calm, and slow jangly guitar sequences meld with layers of gorgeous creamy harmonies and soft shoe brush “jazz” drum sounds.
“With your words, you’re holding me, I choke”
And on that note, the track comes to an abrupt close.
‘Wild One’ is a powerful track, tenderly performed with restrained but heartfelt poignance. Graphic and stirring lyrics, convey violent images, made all the more vivid by Harneshaug’s inspired delivery. It is a cleverly arranged track wherein wonderfully dreamy music and tenderly delivered vocals, somewhat mask the harsh imagery of stark and disturbing lyrics.
If ever an artist was capable of creating a “visual” by way of sound, it is Kari Harneshaug. This singer/songwriter has the unique ability to piece together the most vivid lyrical imagery through which picture storylines along with the dramatis personae, can be clearly seen in full “virtual 3D reality”.
Visual, impassioned, powerful, magnetic,’Wild One’ is a tightly produced, imaginatively arranged and expertly performed song that will appeal to fans of music that has a dramatic personality and lovers of Twin Peaks alike.
‘Wild One’ is out now – see NO FOREVERS for stream and digital information. Kari Harneshaug’s debut album is due for release this spring. Follow her on social media for further information.
Listen to ‘Wild One’ here.