Trondheim based, As he said, are a new four-piece alt-pop project whose sound is a fusion of pure 90’s Eastern European dreampop and 21c bluesy R&B Nordic style. Having come together through the renowned Trondheim music college that sits on the periphery of a tightly-knit music scene of its own creation, these four musicians bring a wealth of vastly different references to their collective melting pot.
The sum of many eclectic parts ranging from jazz improv (they cite Jaga Jazzist, whose Marcus ‘Bror’ Forsgren has oft been mentioned here, as one of their influences) through indie-pop to punk, As he said, has developed a very individualistic yet marketable sound, which they say is a result of blending “industrial synths, rusty guitars, organic beats and unpolished vocals“.
Right then, shall we?
Following on from their late 2015 single, ‘Parasite‘, about which our friends over at Nordic Music Review penned some nice words, which you can read here, As he said have released their third single in under ten months in the form of ‘Get me drunk‘. Self-produced by the band, and mastered by Karl Klaseie (Snøskred, Panda Panda, Østfrost), the song is about “how things that can be really great can change suddenly into something really bad, which you didn’t see coming. The only way to handle it, is to get drunk – or get out.”
Before the opening bar of ‘Get me drunk’ had even finished, my ears were recalling the late 90s shoegaze/dreampop sound of The Ecstasy of Saint Theresa, a band formed in Prague in 1990, and in particular, their song from a 2000 film soundtrack, called ‘For That Moment‘.
Leading with the bare minimum of some reverbed electric guitar dotted with the odd plink plink of keys, the early focus is firmly on voice and words with the tracks lyrical vulnerability being perfectly evoked by vocalist Synnøve’s beautiful golden timbre and delicately emotional nuances. The song gently builds from chilled pared back indie wonk to slick bluesy R&B but central to both instrumental styles is that moreish mellowness that allows the music to just glide effortlessly under the vocal rise and fall.
A superlative ‘gloria’ in the form a spectacular starburst is a stunning surprise midway, when a downtempo blur of soft vocal blends is immediately blown skywards by the most fantastic explosion of instrumental fireworks. This is one disarmingly laid back delight; a pan-musical weave of subtly blended textures and a finely balanced diffusion of influences that when combined, create the most deliciously uplifting track, all warm glow and honeyed aftertaste.
By taking up a theme that is quite prevalent in Nordic songs of the now, that of cleansing the mind of its woes with washes of booze or flurries of sundry narcotics, As he said is following the same youth-culture focussed trend as the likes of fellow Norwegians Broen. Actually, when you give it some thought, the fact that there is a Norwegian drinking culture of any description is rather remarkable given the cost of alcohol in Norway. (Still not over the shock of the Euro 14 Gin og Tonic #scarredforlife).
Exploratory and experimental, ‘Get me drunk’ is a song of disparate parts that fit together like perfectly hewn pieces of an eclectic jigsaw. There’s no doubting that As he said has both the nous and talent to take their music to even greater levels, and if they carry on creating songs as addictive as this, they should have no problem in continuing to get me & many more like me, drunk on the sweet toxicity of their sound.
As he said comprises, Synnøve Gustavsen Ovrid (vocals), Torbjørn Kobberstad (synths), Bendik Romundstad (guitar) and Sigurd Underhaug Nermoen (drums)* & you can follow them on their various social sites:- Facebook, Soundcloud, and Twitter.