Pre-order ‘Lackluster Me’ reissue

“An astonishing masterpiece: dangerously catchy and unpredictably intellectual in its gloomy, monumental beauty” (Stavanger Aftenblad, October 1997)

The title font and band logo on the reissue cover differs slightly from the original cover.

The title font and band logo on the reissue cover differs slightly from the original cover.

Savoy’s second studio album Lackluster Me is regarded by many as the band’s finest album to date, and was hailed by critics when it was released in 1997.

The new reissue of the long out-of-print album will be released by Apollon Records in a few weeks time, and is now available for pre-order from:

savoyaha.bandcamp.com
karismarecords.bigcartel.com (Vinyl/T-shirt bundle)
karismarecords.bigcartel.com (CD/T-shirt bundle)

This is the first time the album is released on vinyl, as a limited edition of 1000 copies.
The CD reissue (jewelcase) will also be 1000 copies only.

The vinyl will apparently also include the CD, but it’s unclear if this is the same regular CD in jewelcase or without a cover.

It seems there won’t be any bonus tracks or other added material, but a Lackluster Me T-shirt (edition of 100) can also be purchased, either alone or as a bundle with the vinyl or CD.

Apollon Records plans to reissue all the Savoy studio albums, but Lackluster Me is released first, as Warner Brothers has been slow to greenlight the reissue of Mary Is Coming (1996).

Paul interviewed on BBC Radio

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Paul was a guest on Richard Green’s retro show on BBC Radio Devon last Saturday, 15 October, in connection with his Waaktaar & Zoe project.

The full interview can be heard on bbc.co.uk (starts at 23:30 minutes).

Below are a few quotes from the conversation:

On Waaktaar & Zoe:
“This project has been going for maybe 3-4 years. […] It sort of started with a few songs, and from the very first session I really just loved her voice and that super rich mid-range. She was also very good at just zoning into the mood of the song, which I’m super sensitive to. I could see for every take we did, she would get closer and closer to where she needed to be. For me that was such a kick as a songwriter, because a lot of the times you have to make that up in the arrangement.”

On plans for Waaktaar & Zoe in 2017:
“[The album] is ready to go, so now we’re just trying to figure out how to present it. We’re gonna be concentrating a lot on videos and stuff, and I would love to do festivals next summer. Zoe can really deliver on a stage and I would love to do a bunch of shows.”

On plans for Savoy:
“We’re gonna be reissuing all the old stuff over the next few months, and then I’ll actually finish the mix on the new [Savoy] album this week, with Steve Osborne. So I’m super excited about that too. So that will be coming out, maybe summertime next year.”

On a-ha’s future:
“With a-ha, it’s the three of us always going in three different directions. I would love to make a new album, so I’m pushing for that. But, you know, there’s other plans, there’s maybe an unplugged album in the making…we don’t know. We haven’t said goodbye, so I know there’s gonna be more. So we’ll just have to see where it ends up.”

“Beautiful Burnout” now available

Zoe and Paul interviewed by NRK in Paul's Brooklyn studio

Zoe and Paul interviewed by NRK in Paul’s Brooklyn studio

“Beautiful Burnout”, the first single from the upcoming Waaktaar & Zoe album World of Trouble was released yesterday, 30 September.

The song can be purchased/streamed on iTunes, Spotify and other services through this link, and the music video can be seen on YouTube.

Update: The single will also be released physically as a limited edition (1000 copies) 7″ white vinyl on 11 November, with the B-side “They To Me And I To Them”. It’s available for pre-order from Drabant Music (worldwide shipping).

“Beautiful Burnout” gets a 5/6 review in the newspaper Stavanger Aftenblad (print edition); “Great vocals by Zoe and just the right amount of Beatles-references from Waaktaar. This makes me want to hear more”, the review says.

“After, I think, the first session, I got the shivers from the very first thing she sang. I thought ‘I don’t really want to have other people singing. I wish we could do something with this'”, Paul said in an interview with Lørdagsrevyen on NRK1 tonight.

There is also a short video clip from an interview with Audun Vinger on the Waaktaar & Zoe Facebook page.

Although the World of Trouble album isn’t out until 24 February next year, the tracklist and 15 minutes of song samples have already been posted on iTunes.

From Lørdagsrevyen, 1 October

From Lørdagsrevyen, 1 October

The 10-track album will include the songs “They to Me and I to Them” – originally an early a-ha song from 1983/84, “Open Face” – a song from the Cast In Steel recording sessions, and “Winter Wants Me Empty” – a new and more electronic version of the Savoy song “Unsound” from Lackluster Me.

Full tracklist:
1. Beautiful Burnout
2. Tearful Girl
3. World of Trouble
4. Laundromat
5. Mammoth
6. They to Me and I to Them
7. Winter Wants Me Empty
8. Ancient Arches
9. Open Face
10. The Sequoia Has Fallen

Follow Waaktaar & Zoe on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Waaktaar & Zoe signs with Drabant Music

Picture from Drabant Music

Picture from Drabant Music

The Norwegian record label Drabant Music issued the following press release today:

Pål Waaktaar-Savoy (a-ha) and singer Zoë Aphrodite Gnecco (daughter of Jimmy Gnecco) recently signed a worldwide recording deal with the Norwegian record label Drabant Music.

Pål and Zoe are both living in NYC and they have known each other for years. When this exciting collaboration turned into an album project they decided to simply name it Waaktaar & Zoe.

The album “World Of Trouble” is set to be released on the 24th of February 2017, while the first single “Beautiful Burnout” will be released on September 30th this year. Pre order the single here.

Follow Waaktaar & Zoe on Facebook.

The music video for “Beautiful Burnout” premiered at the international a-ha fan convention in Oslo in April this year. The song features lyrics that Paul has re-used from the early version of “Foot Of The Mountain” that was included on the deluxe version of Cast In Steel.

Waaktaar & Zoe also have a new Twitter account.

Magne presents new exhibition and art book with Queen Sonja

Magne and Queen Sonja in front of one of the prints they have made together

Magne and Queen Sonja in front of one of the prints they have made together

Magne was in Bergen last weekend, to present a joint exhibition with Her Majesty Queen Sonja. The two of them have been collaborating on a new series of prints over the last year and a half, which has resulted in an exhibition called Texture.

Their work on Texture started in New York in April 2015, when they did three days of experimenting at the Universal Limited Art Editions workshop on Long Island.

“The Queen and I met about thirteen years ago at one of my exhibitions”, Magne said in an interview with Scandinavian Traveler last month. “I found her curiosity inspiring. She is dedicated in ways I rarely see in others, with an elastic and inquisitive mind. It was her curiosity that formed the basis of our artistic relationship.”

“Her personality and dedication to printmaking has allowed me to relate to her as a colleague and not as a queen. When we collaborated on prints, there was never any need to establish a set of roles. At the same time she wanted me to give her honest feedback”, Magne told A-magasinet on Friday, which featured a 12-page article about the project.

As well as opening the exhibition, they could present a brand new coffe-table book about their artistic collaboration called Grafikkens vinger. The Norwegian edition of the book, which features text by Lars Saabye Christensen, can be ordered from bokkilden.no. The book will also be released internationally.

The Texture exhibition is on display at Grieghallen in Bergen until 3 September, and can later be seen in several other cities:

– Galleri Ismene, Trondheim (23 September–23 October 2016)
– The Paul Stolper Gallery, London (27 September–23 October 2016)
– Ålesund Kunstforening, Ålesund (5 November–4 December 2016)
– Bodø Kunstforening, Bodø (9 March–2 April 2017)
– Gulden Kunstverk, Steinberg (22 April–14 May 2017)

Video clips:
Working on Texture – official video
Vestlandsrevyen – from the opening in Bergen (starts at 8 minutes)

Articles:
NRK Hordaland     Bergens Tidende     Dagbladet
Aftenposten     Budstikka     Kongehuset.no     TV2/Kongebloggen
Paris Match     A-magasinet (subscribers only)

Tomine on ‘Stjernekamp’

Tomine performing on Stjernekamp, 27 August

Tomine performing on Stjernekamp, 27 August

The fifth season of NRK1’s popular singing contest Stjernekamp kicked off tonight, with Tomine Harket as one of the contestants.

Morten in the audience

Morten in the audience

Stjernekamp is a live show where established artists and younger talents perform songs from a different music genre each week. The theme this week was Norwegian rock and Tomine had chosen to perform “Hjerteknuser” by Kaizers Orchestra.

Morten was in the audience to show his support, like he’s been on several occasions before.

The theme next week is country music, and Tomine will be performing “Folsom Prison Blues” by Johnny Cash. Tonight’s episode is available to watch at nrk.no.

In addition to Stjernekamp, Tomine is currently enjoying success together with the rapper Unge Ferrari. Watch the music video for their latest single “Iblindeserenbedre” on YouTube.

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