Atlanter is a four-piece outfit from Oslo, presenting to the world a collective vision of what rock music is. In terms of this group, that equates to ensuring personal expression for all band members which culminates in exciting live shows where, literally, anything can happen!
The band’s debut album Vidde was released over a year ago (on Jansen Plateproduksjon), and received widespread critical acclaim. Currently on a mission to cast the Atlanter spell worldwide, the band has just come back from playing SXSW in Austin, Texas and this week will be visiting the Netherlands and Belgium for the first time, playing the Nordic Delight Norwegian Night in Utrecht on Friday as the start of a smattering of other dates.
The quartet consists of individuals who each bring with them a strong track record of musicianship, having all been in bands before finding each other for this new venture. The story of the band’s formation sounded like a happy accident. The project was instigated by singer/guitarists Jens Carelius and Arild Hammerø heading off with a couple of acoustic guitars into the Norwegian mountains, and this was followed up by getting drummer Jonas Barsten Johnsen and bassist Morten Kvam into the mix. Only then was the sound of Atlanter unleashed: a very distinctive blend of rock ‘n’ roll, with a blues feel and a groovy, world-music vibe at times.
Giving the album a spin will mean being taken on a trip, from the wide Mississippi Delta to chugging krautrock highways. And seeing the band live, will no doubt see a few unexpected detours along the way. As Hammerø comments, ‘The songs change from one concert to another, and we try to avoid a polished and rehearsed sound. I think everyone in the band enjoys this openness, that something new can happen on every song. We captured this feeling on the record too, and what brings it all together is that it is mostly based on very distinct rhythms. Playing with Atlanter is like dancing around a fire, there is an intense energy there. Our goal is for the audience to feel this energy too, so they can join in on the dance.’
The unmitigated energy and enthusiasm that radiates from all the band members from the live video for ‘Pike’ heightens my level of excitement about the prospect of seeing the band live for the first time. And I know I’m going to want to get in on that energy and join the dance around the fire!
Vidde – Released 15 March 2013:
Album available via iTunes.