Category Archives: Nordic Pop Noir

Signe Eide

? MoonaPhotography

You have to remember Signe Eide from my post late last year, she’s the Norwegian songbird who thrilled us all with her songwriting and her vocals. It was she who introduced us to the Nordic Pop Noir style.

She is certainly getting around lately, recently she appeared at SXSW and this Thursday she is going to be at the Piknik i Parken 2017 at the wonderful Frognerparken and Vigeland-musset in Oslo. I loved that park, when I used to live there it was a favorite spot.

Meantime I have been keeping an eye open for any new releases and lucky us I have found a new release.

SIgne Eide has just released her new single which I am currently enjoying to no end.
Signe tells me “This was recorded spontaneously in one day in Greenpoint, NYC after returning from playing at SXSW festival.”
Signe is back in form, not that she ever wasn’t, as my favorite purveyor of Nordic Pop Noir and now with an added touch of Americana. Must be that SXSW rubbing off on her.

Release date 16.06.2017
Schnux Records
Producer: Shane O’Connell, Signe Eide
All instruments by Signe Eide & Shane O’Connell
Braund Studios, Greenpoint/Brooklyn, NYC 21.03.2017
Additional mix: BowLar Apartments by Bowitz/Larsen
Mastering: Martin Bowitz, Strype Audio.

And then, after further searching I found this gem, released about eight hours ago. A live performance, in Oslo, in a Sofar recording. They do a great job with their recordings of newer talent.
Signe in full power voice on this track at times, and yet still has time to include the amazing vibrato.  I am really enjoying this track, the title track from her most recent EP.

Filmed by: Richard Ashton
Edited by: Henrik Soeberg


On the previous post i featured a pre-release copy of this track, at the time I said “It is beautiful in its despair”, I think I’ll stick by that. It truly is beautiful.
This is a live version @ SubScene Oslo with Elice Sauge, Alice Lewin, Mathilde Degland & Torkel Skaug.
I am Fever

(c) 2015


Talking of that album, Simple / Heavy, you should really check it out and here is your chance.
Simple / Heavy


Cats of Transnistria

? Eetu Maaranen

We all know what a cat is, but what is a Transnistria?
Transnistria: Transnistria (also called Trans-Dniestr or Transdniestria) is a breakaway state located mostly on a strip of land between the River Dniester and the eastern Moldovan border with Ukraine. It is internationally recognised as part of the Republic of Moldova but whose de facto independence is maintained with the assistance of Russian forces.

Allegedly there are no cats in Transnistria.

So we have Cats of Transnistria who are a slow and deep duo from Helsinki, Finland.
Cats of Transnistria are Tuomas Alatalo and Henna Emilia Hietamäki.

So let’s get to hear this awesome music.

First up this deliciously dark piece, amazing guitar work and the beautiful voice of Henna
It has a great video of beach scenes through the ages, not too sure much of it is from San Francisco though. Some of the surfing stuff could be from Mavericks on a quiet day. Some of the older stuff could have been from the Sutro Baths.
San Francisco

Unofficial music video from “a fan”.
We own no rights.

? Silja-Riikka Seppälä

Next up a live Sofar performance from Helsinki. Sofar do such a great job producing these videos all around the world. The performance is just as good as their recordings are, proving them to be real artists. Oh and her voice, her voice.
Let It Happen This Way

Filmed by: Arto Marttinen, Susan Heikkinen & Henri Hämäläinen
Edited by: Eero Lehtinen
Audio by: Simo Pitkänen

? Sofia Okkonen

Another beautiful blend of dream pop vocals and fuzzy, psyched guitar and of course the keyboards. This tune is hypnotically brilliant, it engages you from the very beginning right up to the final notes. If only all music could be this inclusive.
The Departure

The video, directed by friend and photographer​ Sofia Okkonen, slowly unwinds through shadows and smoke to reveal a fine band performance full of emotion and mood, reflecting The Departure’s dream state structure and sense of longing. Hypnotic and at times surreal, The Departure’s 7 plus minutes is something to get lost in.

? Niclas Mäkelä

I’m not sure what this one is about, but then you can all read the lyrics? text? the same as every one else. But seriously, this is another gem of dark decadent mood pop. Just enjoy it.

Cats of Transnistria esiintyy Stupido-klubilla 13.5. Illan muut esiintyjät ovat Cyan Kicks ja For Tomorrow.

We are going to finish up with this 10 minute masterpiece, it’s slow but beautiful. It’s worthwhile taking the time to kick back and enjoy this awesome piece.
Cats Of Transnistria’s recently released debut album Divine, has been warmly received, with many commenting on the album’s atmosphere, beauty and dark charisma. The centre piece of the album is the 10 minute-plus trance-invoking Displacement: repetition, slow build with noisy release – Cats of Transnistria tell us that Displacement is “a song of wanting to be anywhere else than here and of the enormous joy one feels when finding a way out'”

First camera: Dimitriy Zhuravlev
Second Camera: Polina Sarancha
Editor: Alina Sarancha
Cargo Collective / Panika Derevya
The video was shot in Yekaterinburg, Russia.

? Niclas Mäkelä

Iiris Viljanen

Iiris Viljanen is a highly talented singer / songwriter / rapper / pianist who hails from Vaasa the regional capital of Ostrobothnia (Swedish: Österbotten, Finnish: Pohjanmaa). But to make life easier she currently resides in Stockholm.

Iiris Viljanen is perhaps the most intensely neurotic one can see on a Swedish stage. Alone with a piano, she plays her very awkward and delightful songs. She sings and raps about each other, to their Finnish-Swedish accent.

Her music is the question hanging in the air, a message that is not answered, but which is “Shown 2.16”, an illustration of the eternal waiting at the right moment.

I’m not able to get much more background than that, my Norwegian language skills (ha ha) only allow so much, and sadly Google Translator doesn’t come up to snuff.

Any way it’s all about the music, and we have some wonderful music in store for you. Most of the music featured here is from Iiris’ new album “Mercedes”, make sure to add it to your Christmas list. Maybe Santa will bring it, if not then go get it.

So to the music.

This is one of the most haunting pieces of music I have heard in a long time, so beautiful in its simplicity. For some reason it brings to mind some of Eminem’s best stuff.
Starting with a beautiful poignant song and then gently merging into a gentle rap with herself. Even if you don’t understand it you have to be moved by it.
Årstavikens Strand

Regi: Robin Krey Andersson
Foto: Alex Bolevin

? Sandra Johnson

“Ska vi Fira”, “Shall we celebrate” in English, would appear to be a sort of Scandinavian “Girls just want to have fun” with a touch of Nordic gloom. But an enjoyable piece none the less.
Ska vi Fira

Regi: Robin Krey Andersson
DOP: Anton Österlund
B-Foto: Alessandro Berellini
Scenografi/kostym: Elina Sjöwall
Grade: Alessandro Berellini
Produktionsassistenter: Sebastian Johansson Micci och Mattias Rothman

? Oskari Härmä

Here’s something different a piano solo from a live appearance at Oceanen back in September. Showing a different side of Iiris. This is from her instrumental piano album, “Kiss Me, Stupid & 7 More Solo Piano Pieces”.
Oregano Ghost

Oceanen is the biggest concert venue in Göteborg, Sweden.

Iiris with the amazing Ane Brun

This is not your Bonnie Tyler song, no this is another original by Iiris Viljanen composition from the album “Mercedes” and it just grabbed me, so gentle and goosey creating. One of my favorites on the album so far. But I’m still playing it.
Total Eclipse Of The Heart

Total Eclipse of the Heart · Iiris Viljanen
From the album Mercedes
℗ 2016 Voi Elämä!

? Isabel Neib

OK, so it’s time to say farewell to Iiris for today, and I’ll leave you with this concert appearance at Grand, Malmö, Sweden supporting Laser och bas. Enjoy, I know I will. This young lady is a true teller of tales. And don’t forget the album, Mercedes.

? Jonathan Howell