Pic of Frokedal from Månefestivalen by Johannes Andersen
Pic of Frokedal from Månefestivalen by Johannes Andersen

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the dynamic force behind the fair wind that sails the good ship Propeller Recordings, is their Australian marketing tour de force, Jodie Grinstead.  A virtuoso of all things marketing and PR strategist extraordinaire, this uber enterprising media manager whose lightbulb seems to be permanently lit, has literally ‘propelled’ homegrown roster signees such as Highasakite and Frøkedal from who? to where/when? in a relatively short period of time.  While helping to catapult Propeller’s acts into the musical stratosphere outside of Norway is by no means an easy feat, Jodie herself would be one of the first to acknowledge that given quality ingredients the talented chef can create a dish fit for a king.

Apothek with the Propeller Family
Apothek with the Propeller Family

And so it is with the acts signed to Propeller … they are, to put it simply, some of the best in the business, and, when you are presented with talent as great as the label has on its books, it makes the task of promoting and brand-building just that little bit easier!  Just a jot! 

So just who are these superstars of the now, and not so distant future?

Anne Lise Frøkedal hails from the rainy, black mountain country of Western Norway. While those very same mountains have at times been known to cast shadows over her songs, giving them something of a sombre melancholy, the sunnier, more optimistic side of the singers disposition has more often than not lifted them into brighter climes.  One of Norway’s favourite solo artists, 2016 has seen Anne Lise’s debut album release under the Frøkedal moniker.  ‘Hold on Dreamer’ an absolute gem of a record, is a beautifully woven, carefully stitched labour of love.  Coloured with threads of bright silks outlined by darker edges of shade, it is an imaginatively and lovingly thought out soundscape filled with the lark-like voice of one of Norway’s finest singers.  ‘Cherry Trees’ is possibly the best track on the album and if you’ve not already done so, we’d urge you to give it a listen.  However, as the album’s most well known track is undoubtedly ‘The Sign’, we’ll include the video for it here.

Frøkedal plays the Øyafestivalen Amfiet Stage at 15.55 Saturday 13th.

Apothek, Dagny, and Great News – all Propeller gene pool swimming their way to the top of the pops.  Apothek in particular, have been an interesting arrival on the electronic scene, arousing a lot of interest much like a curiosity shop full of secrets.

Apothek

They make songs that have more breadth and depth than a lot of standard electronic fare and with the release of their debut album imminent, it seems likely that we will hear a LOT more of and about this duo in the weeks and months to come.  They most recently performed a live rendition of their single ‘Reunion’, complete with 10-piece choir : unfortunately Mr YT says no, and we can’t watch it over here! (the link is embedded for those of you in Norway!).  For now, the rest of us will just have to make do with the official video for ‘Waiting for the Thunder’ until we can get to see the Apothekian real deal this coming Saturday 13th when the band play the Vindfruen stage at Øya, 13.50.

Undoubtedly one of this reviewer’s personal faves from the Propeller stable is ‘in yer face’, no prisoners, noisefesters Sløtface. This feisty foursome are all about sending out clear messages on equality, misogyny, green/environmentally friendly ethics and human rights, whilst having a helluva lot of fun in the process.  Sløtface score as much cerebral dexterity as they do rampant riotousness, and with the lyrical ingenuity of their acerbically witty works, they have fast built a rep for themselves as razor sharp socio-political observers and commentators, who just happen to make their melodic orations against a deliciously noisy backdrop. The band have spent the past 12 months living between studios and stages, alternating recording for live performances in the run up to the release later this year/early next year of their debut album.  Their latest single, ‘Take Me Dancing‘ is an invitation you’d be foolish to pass up, as you would the chance to see them kick off on stage 19.00 at Parkteatret as part of the KlubbØya opening night fandango, Tuesday 9th,

Finally, one could not write a piece on Propeller’s artists without mentioning their biggest success story to-date.  Norwegian five-piece Highasakite are a band whose star is clearly in a very stratospheric and dazzlingly illuminated ascendancy.  So much has already been said about this intense, insightful, tight-knit drama of a band there’s no need for forensics here.

Photo Propeller Rec
Photo Propeller Rec

At times their music is dimly lit comprising sombre and mournful prayers or reflections, at others they are capable of creating the most dream-tastic wistfulness, smoky and ethereal like shadowy fairytales.  The counterpoints are their spellbinding gilt-edged pop or fantastic OTT warrioresque melodramas that hit with all the whip and venom of angry thunderstorms.  If you want the full on Highasakite experience, pitch your stall in front of the Amfiet stage on Friday 12th for 21.30, when these shiniest of Propeller stars will cast their bewitching spell over the Toyenparken crowd when they make their first Øya headline appearance.

We’ll leave you with a wee behind the scenes of their latest single ‘Samurai Sword’ along with an visual of a live performance of the single itself, below.  See you at Øya!

If you want to learn more about Norwegian indie label, Propeller Recordings or their spinoff lable 0E0E, dig into their newly vamped up website – http://www.propellerrecordings.no/#gold

Øyafestivalen, Norway’s premier music festival runs from Tuesday 9th to Satuday 13th August incl, full details of the artists and the festival programme can be found on the Øya FB page and website.

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