Eurosonic is certainly the right place to be to discover new music and with 47 Nordic acts playing across the course of three days, there was oodles of bands to choose from. I barely covered a quarter of them during the festival itself – which meant the rest were still out there to be discovered with a little post-Groningen digging. So, following on from the recent article where NV editor Janine shared her top 3 acts, here are my 5 random discoveries (in no particular order) about some Nordic bands from Eurosonic.
Revelation moment: Ásgeir Trausti (IS)
- The act that surprised me most was Iceland’s Ásgeir Trausti. I mistakenly thought he wasn’t going to be my cup of tea. I thought he was just a nice guy singing in lyrics that I didn’t understand (he sings in Icelandic) – and of course I’m all for listening to Icelandic till the cows come home (see here) – but after arriving late on Thursday and missing his acoustic set in the afternoon, I wasn’t expecting much from his full set (not quite sure where I got these thoughts from). How wrong I was. The full band set-up (him and about 7 other people) was certainly impressive, perhaps all the more so thanks to the setting (my first time being in the magnificent Stadsschouwburg), and I think what they say is right: he may very well be Iceland’s equivalent to Justin. Dear Ásgeir, please come back soon.
Delightful discovery over coffee: Linnea Olsson (SE)
- What happens when you mix one Swedish artist with a cello and a packed room full of customers in a (regular) coffee shop – absolute attention to the levels of you-can-hear-a-pin-drop, that’s what. This was the first time I’d heard Linnea Olsson (on Friday afternoon in Coffee Company) and with her fabulous voice and her knack of looping to get sounds out of a cello that I didn’t think was possible, I doubt this will be the last time.
- Plato had a great line-up during the festival too, which featured Norway’s Highasakite on Friday afternoon. I might have spied them through the window but I didn’t actually get to see them play then – and I also didn’t get to see them when they played at Vera that very evening. So why are they on this list? Well because the photos by Sander Baks made me wish I had seen them! Those feathers are ace. And I’m now looking forward to catching them at the Nordic Delight festival in Utrecht on 2 March.
Best feathers: Highasakite (NO)
Most random instrument: Phantom (FI)
I am charmed by a random instrument or two, and the prize at Eurosonic in this category goes to Finland, and Phantom‘s own UFO-shaped theramin. You can witness it (and the band) in action yourself here, when the pop duo played in the pop-up show at H&M (organised by Music Finland). I didn’t actually catch the band myself but they will also be back playing the Nordic Delight festival in Utrecht on 2 March. Phantom’s EP The Scars is also Nordic Vibes luistertip for this week, see here!
My most anticipated act: Indians (DK)
I’d been wanting to see Danish Søren Løkke Juul and his band of Indians again ever since I saw them last summer in Copenhagen, and on Friday I discovered them in Forum Images (another of the many wonderful venues around Groningen). Signed to 4AD and with an album Somewhere Else coming out at the end of this month, the band with their many keyboards and one solitary guitar treated the crowd to a few new numbers and some old favourites, including this one (‘Magic Kids’), at least I think was played…or else it was another track that took me to a floaty, ethereal space. The Indians European tour starts soon and the band will be back in the Netherlands on 5 February at Paradiso, Amsterdam (details here).
I know there are loads of others random Nordic bits that I’ve yet to find out about post-Eurosonic. If you have any memories, gigs or other Nordic Eurosonic stories that you’d like to share, you can do so at our Facebook page here or tweet-us-up at: @nordicvibes. Takk!