Pom Poko – Unleash New Single Ahead of Trondheim Calling & Cruise Into Urort Final!

Pom Poko Urortfinalen 2017
Pom Poko Urortfinalen 2017

Norwegian modernist collective Pom Poko have just released their third single ‘It’s a Trap’ accompanied by an impressive avant-garde ‘toon visual, the work of Olav Fangel Jamtveit, brother of the band’s vocalist, Ragnhild FJ.

A song about release and arrival, letting go to achieve self-awareness, ‘It’s a Trap’ is a quirky, punchy little sherbet that fizzes with pops of 90’s post-punk with more than a hint of glam psych.  Without doubt the track benefits from the experimental nous and masterly hand of Highasakite‘s Kristoffer Lo, a man who knows his way around more than a few instruments.  Adding his trademark guitar, brass and a.n.other sounds to the mix, Lo has taken Pom Poko’s sound in a more experimental and diverse direction, giving the original live jam the same depth and texture he brings to all his collaborations.

While the instrumental backdrop has some sharp edges, it is chasmed by sufficient wide spaces to counter-balance the intensity. As usual, vocal duties of the infinitely starlit variety are carried off with effortless ease by Ragnhild Fangel Jamtveit and if her previous live vocal performances are the benchmark to go by, Pom Poko’s two gigs at Trondheim Calling should be something else and then some more!  During TC the band will also perform a live sesh for P3’s Ruben.  Unfortunately for me it’s happening on the Wednesday, ahead of my arrival ‘on scene’.

In addition to their saffron shot nocturnal cartoon visual accompaniment, Pom Poko have adorned their single with the cutest, candy-coloured artwork by Norwegian illustrator Erlend Peder which you can see here!  The floral bedecked character is as yet to be identified!

Illustration Erlend Peder
Illustration Erlend Peder

In other news, Pom Poko have made it to the Urort Final 2017 (a Norwegian national award for promising emerging artists); if you like what you hear, you can vote for Pom Poko to win this prestigious award, here. #doit

It is a testament to their punky quirkiness that Pom Poko give their facebook page “unofficial status” – hook up with it here to touch base with the band and keep up to speed with their lives at Trondheim Calling and their Urort escapades!

The future is definitely as bright as the characters in their ‘It’s a Trap’ video for this effervescent four-piece – I hope you’ll join me in wishing them all the luck in the world – for Trondheim Calling, for Urort and we-ell, for the future.

‘It’s a Trap’ is available now via Phonofile – http://phonofile.link/its-a-trap  .  Watch the captivating fam-made visual here.

Alma’s Latest Single Is Wickedly Good

Alma

There isn’t anything that the pomp of brass and wistful elegance of strings can’t take to the next level, and then some.

By layering russet hued horns and yearning string sequences over menacing basslines, sweetly seductive synth and touches of plinking piano, Swedish trip-hopper, Alma, has scored a classy soundtrack that could easily pass for a younger, sassier sibling of Portishead’s ‘Glory Box – Give Me A Reason‘.  Cloaked in the same hypnotic allure threaded with subtle strands of intrigue, her latest single, ‘Wicked’ oozes that same sumptuous, off-limits sexiness as its mid ’90s predecessor.

Vocals with an attitude face off against dreamy pillows of feathery delightfulness, giving the sultry, chastising lyrics a warm, animated colour with just the right touch of cool, refined disdain around the edges.

‘Wicked’ is Alma’s latest release following the feisty electro-dance track, ‘I Do It For You’.  Less poppy, more intense, this is an extremely sophisticated production that significantly ups the song-crafting ante.  In fact, ‘Wicked’ is of such richly textured and cinematic proportions as to be practically of the same calibre as the many hits penned by Guy Chambers or Adele (think Millenium meets Skyfall).

While the song itself was released a few months back, the Nim Sundström directed, sensual and dramatic Bondesque video (check out the Bond referencing shots of that spiral staircase) was only premiered a week ago.

Relatively new to the music scene in the UK&I, this young Stockholm based singer appears to know her strengths and is playing to them like a well seasoned pro.  If Alma keeps firing shots like ‘Wicked’ from her musical armoury you can expect to see her star in the ascendancy quicker than Bond could say ‘007’.

‘Wicked’ is released via Wicked Records and is available for streaming.  You can follow Alma on Soundcloud, Facebook and Twitter.

“Sunny Day, Sweepin’ the Clouds Away”… even for the Tortured Soul

Owen Duff

OWEN DUFF – Nobody Loves A Tortured Soul

It took a few reps of the intro for my brain to go #bing.  One of the things it reminded me of was a tune from an old musical jewellery box, with it’s vintage, almost “scratchy needle on vinyl” quality.

“and I bought me a round in the Crown and Bells

Held court like a king, was dethroned and thrown out and threw up there”

 … and that my friends, sums up a leaving do, birthday bash, general Saturday night out on the tiles, that we’ve all experienced at least once.   The sentiment of this laid back track by Londoner Owen Duff is totally on the mark, the music, pure fantasia shakes hands with a brass section. This is the stuff musical dreams are made of.

The track incorporates so much, but is so tightly produced, that you never feel aurally crowded. It is perfectly balanced symphonic electronica, alongside some superb trumpet playing. And there’s even a key change, woo!

“Nobody Loves A Tortured Soul” is musically first class, with perfectly sung, well penned lyrics.

Owen Duff – job well done.  Very well done indeed.

Just one thing.  Why do I keep thinking of “Sesame Street”? #SunnyDay

You can find out more about Owen Duff and his music via his website http://www.owenduff.co.uk/

Hook up with him on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/owen.duff

and Twitter – https://twitter.com/owenduffmusic