Grand Avenue – Place To Fall
When I saw this band supporting Saybia a few years ago they made quite an impression. I’d even go further in saying that they outplayed the main attraction. There’s no way denying that these four Danes are mighty musicians and a joy to watch playing. Their determination to make it big is pretty darn obvious from their songs and their performances. It’s admirable. I’ve enjoyed most of their last album and doing the same with this one. The songs on ‘Place To Fall’ are funkier than ever, and a little rougher.
I do however have a nagging issue with this band’s sound. After these two records it’s become obvious that there’s certain continuity to their style and they seem determined to stick with it. What I’m missing is a certain kind of depth and low-fi quality, the production is so smooth that there’s no space for a rougher edge. A rougher edge would fit them like a glove and might be the last part of the puzzle to get them running full speed.
The chorusses especially seem to lack just a little bit of spark, transparency, flow, or whatever you want to call it. It’s like they forgot to press record on that last but defining layer. A hint of synth, or piano, or backing vocals. Maybe I’m asking too much, but I do sense that these guys have got potential but haven’t yet gotten to the end of the road. Which might explain why they haven’t had a defining hit so far. A shame really, but who knows, maybe this time..!
A favourite: ‘These Days’
Andy Bull – We’re Too Young
Is this young lad on the verge of hitting the charts? Probably! Every single song sounds like it’s ready for radio. Very play-, colour- and bashful. Just what we need, right? Probably! First characteristic you’ll notice is his high pitch, nasal voice that’s unlike anyone else’s. I’m absolutely certain that he’ll both have purists scratching the walls and have teenagers do the twist and jive. When it feels right it just does, ya know? And he’s definitely got himself some catchy tunes! But there’s obviously plenty room to grow. The lyrics, the music, the vocals, it’s all so fresh and void of life experience. Too young? Nope, this is fairly age appropriate.
A favourite: ‘Young Man’
Sondre Lerche – Heartbeat Radio
Mr. Lerche stole my heart when I saw him on tv, during an award ceremony, wearing an A-ha tee, ready to hand an award to the band printed on that same tee. He seemed genuinly thrilled and nervous. What a doll. The boy has grown up and with his latest release seems to have shed his rock ‘n roll tendencies from the last record, ‘Phantom Punch’. Its pace has been turned down a couple of notches. What hasn’t changed are the witty lyrics, the 60s vibe you get from the songs in general and the boyish charm to his voice. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that! It feels like home, it’s comforting and puts a little smirk on my face every now and then. Go see him live if you get a change, you won’t regret it! He got everyone up and dancing last time I saw him. Go Norge!
A favourite: ‘Heartbeat Radio’
Rodrigo y Gabriela – 11:11
An honorable mention for the awesome Rodrigo Y Gabriela! I saw this duo at Lowlands once and enjoyed myself immensely. Their style would normally not find its way to my playlist, but they’re darn good at what they do and it seems so effortless. “Gabriela? Yes Rodrigo? Want to play some music? Sure thing Rodrigo”. Close your eyes and you’re in Mexico dancing holes in your shoes.