Best Tracks of 2015

“Swimmer’s Body Illusion”

Anniken Jess Iversen, or Anana in short, is one of the finest new female voices in the Norwegian scene. But she could be as well one the Scandinavian country’s most talented young composers.

Her 2015 single, “Swimmer’s Body Illusion”, is spacious, heavily reverbed, and incredibly beautiful. Just like her previous efforts, it makes it clear that Anana comes from a place where darkness is not something to avoid but part of your daily life.

Her haunting vocals and slowed-down, piano-meets-laptop arrangements actually tend to have an uplifting effect. And the moment when electronic beat joins Anana’s reverbed voice is something you’ll want to experience again and again.

Anana on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.


Afteir their acclaimed 2013 debut album, “Vidde”, Oslo-based quartet Atlanter released an impressive follow-up that sees the band grow as composers, performers, and groovemakers.

Released late January, “Jewels of Crime” seems to contradict their claims of being inspired by “desert blues, by German krautrock and by old delta blues”. There’s actually so much more in their dense, organic, and as ambiguous mixture of sounds and ideas as you would expect in the 21st century.

“Jareeze” is the first single off the record, and its accompanied by a short, one-actor miniature directed by Frode Fjerdingstad. Be sure to check out all other ten songs that make the album, and you can start with the superb second single, “Light“.

Atlanter on Facebook, Twitter, www.


When the 19-year old Norwegian singer/songwriter Aurora Aksnes released her debut EP “Running With The Wolves” in May, she’s been already known as one of the biggest discoveries of the recent months.

Chiefly thanks to her video “Runaway”, which came out earlier this year and has close to 1 million views already. What makes the Bergen-based artist stand out from the mighty Scandinavian scene?

Although there are many who mix modern Northern pop with the folk song tradition, Aurora’s young yet confident voice creates that kind of special atmosphere that made us fall in love with Joanna Newsom a decade ago.

Aurora on Soundcloud, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, www.


Impressive is one word that springs to mind when you dive into “Yoga”, the debut album of Oslo-based group Broen.

Fronted by half-Norwegian, half-Greek singer Marianna S. Angeletaki Røe, the group find their very own path between current music trends and genres of the past. Here 80s pop, shoegaze, afrobeat, electronica, hip hop and a tuba amount to something very different, something very unique.

While “Yoga” itself is one of the most interesting Norwegian albums we’ve heard in a long while, “Iris” is certainly one of the best songs the country gave us recently.

Broen on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube.

Bror Forsgren
“In A Time When God Was One”

Timeless, velvety and, to put it directly, grand. That’s the kind of album Bror Forsgren has always dreamed of recording, and his big dream came true with the release of his debut solo album, “Narcissus”.

The variety and sheer quality of the record’s material and its orchestrations can be easily explained with the 34 years old singer-songwriter’s previous experiences with bands like Jaga Jazzist, The Lionheart Brothers and Silence The Foe.

If most musicians leave their bands for a solo effort to scale things down a little bit, Bror only further expanded his visions. But his symphonic pop with its impressive arrangements preserves the lightness of the best 60/70s had to offer.

With his spiraling melodies and feathery voice, the Oslo-based artist takes us back to the mythical time “when the hate was still undone”, and “when God Was One”.

Bror Forsgren on Facebook, TwitterSoundcloud, www.

Daniel Kvammen
“Du Fortenar Ein Som Meg”

26-year old Norwegian singer-songwriter from Geilo, Daniel Kvammen suprised everyone but his most devoted fans with a new solo album “Fremad i alle retninga”, possibly one of the best collections of quality singer-songwriting we heard last year.

Produced by Even Ormestad from the acclaimed group Jaga Jazzist, it combines the simplicity of traditional guitar folk-rock with warm sound and exceptional beauty of both of his melodies and performance.

Possibly one of the most beloved Norwegian videos of the recent months, “Du Fortenar Ein Som Meg” is a great example of Daniel’s catchiness, humour and subtlety, a rare and highly appreciated amalgam.

And even if he gets the international recognition he deserves, let’s hope he continues singing in Norwegian as that’s one more virtue we have to mention. Takk!

Daniel Kvammen on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, www.


Back in 2010, Norway native Stian Vedøy relocated to Cardiff in Wales and in 2013 Firewoodisland came to life as he joined forces with Abi Newbould, Stephen Allen and Rowan Blake.

Since then the quartet have released their great debut EP, “ILD”, which was soon followed by and excellent piece of indiefolk, “Molehills”, accompanied by a charming DIY video directed by the band themselves.

If you like the song, and we believe you will the first moment you hear it, don’t stop here and stream “ILD“, as well as the latest single “Winter is Coming” released just three weeks ago.

Firewoodisland on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, www.

“Keep Forever”

One of the most characteristing pop voices not only in the Norwegian scene, Bergen-based Frøder has been delivering us singles that certainly deserve the attention they’ve been getting both from independent blogs and big selectors like Spotify.

“Keep Forever” was a hit us immediately at the beginning of 2015 and stayed with us for the rest of the year. Starting like a sentimental 80s reprise that could be featured on the upcoming M83 album, it slowly builds tension over Frøder’s vocals and somehow restrained arrangement that breaks out fully only at the very end.

After a series of great singles, we can easily say Frøder is one of the most promising young singers in this part of Europe and hopefully her full-length album comes soon, and comes beautifully.

Frøder on Facebook, Twitter.

Hanne Kolstø
“I Hate You Don’t Leave Me”

If this list was about labels and not songs, Oslo-based Jansen Plateproduksjon would be a clear winner as its roster includes quite a few artists included here like Atlanter, Bror Forsgren, Undergrünnen, Daniel Kvammen – and Hanne Kolstø.

She’s been steadily delivering us a new album every year with “While We Still Have Light” being her fifth solo effort. It’s also a coda of her five-part marathon about life, emotions, relationships and learning about our inner self.

The first track we heard off the album, “I Hate You Don’t Leave Me”, is a great example of how Kolstø combines catchy themes with non-obvious arrangments and – if you bother to count the beats – uncommon time signature for a single.

“I’m always fighting with my shadow, baby, as if everything in my life is ending now,” she sings, but immediately adds to our relief: “Not gonna change a thing.”

Hanne Kolstø on Soundcloud, Facebook, www.

Jenny Hval
“That Battle Is Over”

Just a few months after Jenny Hval delighted us with “Meshes of Voice”, her collaborative album with another Norwegian artist Susanna Wallumrød, she released her now-famous solo album “Apocalypse, Girl” that deservedly appeared in most trustworthy year-end features.

Jenny Hval’s unique songwriting and her versatile, perfectly harmonized voice is usually accompanied by layers of synthesizers, drums, organs and non-obvious juxtapositions that together make a record that excited not only fans of Laurie Anderson or Kate Bush, but simply everyone with a pair of open ears.

While it’s not easy to pick any particular tracks from “Apocalypse, Girl”, as impressive as it is, let us recommend “That Battle Is Over”, as it was an early appetizer of the album and it stayed with us for the whole year.

Jenny Hval on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud, www.

Marte Eberson
“Reach For It”

Released late last year, Marte Eberson’s new single and an early taste of her upcoming solo debut is one of many recent examples of how Norway’s become one of world’s most fertile music scenes as far as quality pop music is concerned.

While the 28 years old Oslo-based singer is only starting her solo career, it’s actually not the first time we mention her. She already appeared in our Best of 2014 feature as a member of indie group Highasakite, one of several projects she’s been involved in.

In “Reach For It”, she’s accompanied by another talented Norwegian singer Martin Halla (and a winner of The Voice), and if this single’s a good indication of her full-length effort we will probably meet her again in our Best of 2016.

Marte Eberson on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

“The Fear”

Altothough currently based in Berlin, the duo Mihle stem from Trondheim where Nora Mihle and Henriette Kolset originally met and decided to produce music together.

To date, they’ve released only two singles, but that was enough to draw attention to their quality songwriting and modern execution, which make it hard to believe their early experiences were rather philharmonic. And there’s already a substantial group of fans waiting for their debut EP, “These Birds”, due for release this year.

“The Fear” was the very first song they officially shared. To many, the song’s lyrics – “I fear I’ll do some damage to you some day / And I don’t want something like that for you” – might sound quite familiar. And if there’s anything unsatisfying about it, is that it ends much too soon.

Mihle on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter.


If you miss the times when female storytellers like Linda Perhacs or Vashti Bunyan ruled our minds and hearts, the Oslo-based singer-songwriter Phaedra might soon become your next queen.

What’s special about her version of psychedelic folk is the emotional ambiguity, as if she couldn’t decide whether to follow “Blackwinged Night”, which is the title of her second album, or “Lightbeam”, which was the first single.

What’s sure is that both the voice and songwriting talent of Ingvlid Langgård’s stand out from the Scandinavian scene and if she was born half a century earlier, and a few thousand kilometers to the west, we would be probably quoting her name right now among those mentioned in the first sentence.

Phaedra on Soundcloud, YouTube, Facebook, www.

Simen Mitlid

For a country stereotypically associated with long and dark winter nights and fascinating but raw nature, surprisingly Norway has been recently giving us a lot of lighthearted music reinterpreting the tradition of folk songwriting.

Simen Mitlid and his band are a great example of this growing and refreshing movement. Last year, they gave us a beautiful 5-track record “While We Wait“, and “Thoughts” is a clear highlight with its sinusoidal emotional outline and memorable chorus.

Just a few weeks ago, Simen Mitlid released another outstanding single titled “Vacation“, which is a strong candidate for our next year’s best-of feature and a reminder of why we all once fell in love with Sufjan Stevens’ complex arrangements and Nick Drake’s melancholy.

Simen Mitlid on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter.

“Skjønne du ingenting”

“Skjønne du ingenting” was the first song we have heard from Undergrünnen’s self-titled debut album, and after the first listen we immediately fell in love with this strange band that doesn’t sound at all northern and at all 21st century.

“Our ambition is to mix the African sound with the Norwegian language. Of course we emphasize that we play a Norwegian type of afro rock, and we regard it as a mix where MC5 meets African rhythm,” the band explained before their big premiere.

The trio of Pål Jackman (voice and guitars), Per Steinar Lie (bass) and Ørjan Haaland (trumpets and organ) had proper African experiences to make this risky idea successful. Their debut was one of 2015’s highlights, which isn’t bad for a semi-improvised record by a band that was born ad hoc for a prison show.

Undergrunnen on Facebook, Twitter.


Wauwatosa are a Norwegian duo comprised of producer Sigurd Ytre-Arne and jazz vocalist Natalie Sandtorv.

Both with distinctive musical careers of their own already, in 2013 they decided to form a new project together, and have been steadily releasing new material ever since. “Feather” is one of the highlights from their recent EP, “Luftbrücke”.

With its blend of electro-pop, trip-hop and jazz, the song combines quintessentially Scandinavian ambience with a few unexpected twists and turns, revealing experimental undertones that heavily contribute to its unique and intriguing atmosphere.

Wauwatosa on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp, www.