Archive for July, 2015

‘Cast In Steel’ tracklist

The Cast In Steel tracklist has now been posted on the official site:

Update July 24th: Added length of each track.

01. Cast In Steel (Waaktaar-Savoy) (3:50)
02. Under The Makeup (Waaktaar-Savoy) (3:25)
03. The Wake (Harket/Kvint/Olsen) (3:45)
04. Forest Fire (Furuholmen/Harket/Terefe/Kvint) (3:54)
05. Objects In The Mirror (Furuholmen) (4:14)
06. Door Ajar (Waaktaar-Savoy) (3:45)
07. Living At The End Of The World (Harket/Kvint/Olsen) (4:06)
08. Mythomania (Furuholmen) (3:49)
09. She’s Humming A Tune (Waaktaar-Savoy) (4:02)
10. Shadow Endeavors (Waaktaar-Savoy) (4:21)
11. Giving Up The Ghost (Furuholmen) (4:15)
12. Goodbye Thompson (Waaktaar-Savoy) (3:34)

It’s worth noting that the Vinyl LP will only include ten of the twelve album tracks. And the song “Open Face” seems to have been left out, unless its title has changed. “She’s Humming A Tune” was originally an early demo that a-ha was working on in London in 1983/84.

The Deluxe Edition and Fanbox Edition will also include the following tracks on the second disc:

01. The End Of The Affair (Furuholmen) (3:31)
02. Mother Nature Goes To Heaven (Original Version) (4:33)
03. Nothing Is Keeping You Here (Original Version) (4:41)
04. Shadowside (Demo Version) (4:16)
05. Start The Simulator (Stereophonic Mix) (5:19)
06. Foot Of The Mountain (Mark Saunders Remix) (4:18)

To see the complete list of songwriters and producers, visit the article.

‘Cast In Steel’ to be released in four versions

Album cover

Album cover

The new a-ha album Cast In Steel (Sep. 4th) will be released in four different versions, according to the German a-ha forum.

Here they are, with pre-order links to

1. Standard CD

2. Deluxe Edition (2CD)

3. Fanbox Edition (2CD)

4. Vinyl LP

Meanwhile, the first band interviews from last week’s Berlin promotion have started appearing online. There’s a short video clip at and an interview at (subscribers only).

a-ha doing promo in Germany

It looks like a-ha have been in Berlin, Germany this week, doing promotion for their upcoming album Cast In Steel.

Universal Music Germany posted an Instagram picture of the guys waiting for the last interview to begin, after “having talked extensively with the press about their new album over the last few days”. None of the interviews have surfaced yet, but they will probably start appearing soon.

Five new press photos taken yesterday appeared at
Photo 1   Photo 2   Photo 3   Photo 4   Photo 5 also posted a similar Instagram picture from the same interview session as UMG, while Magne posted a selfie of the three of them together on Thursday:

Brazilian tour announced

On tour in Brazil again...

On tour in Brazil again…

Five a-ha tour dates in Brazil this October were announced today, bringing the total number of concerts on the Cast In Steel tour up to 35.

These additional dates will be taking place after the concerts in Buenos Aires and at Rock In Rio:

6 October: Net Live, Brasilia
8 October: Chevrolet Hall, Recife
10 October: Aquaville Resort, Fortaleza
14 October: Espaço das Américas, São Paulo
15 October: Master Hall, Curitiba

The concert in Curitiba will be the first time a-ha perform in that city.

Ticket info from

There will be a sponsor pre-sale starting on July 13 for all dates. The regular on-sale date is July 15 for all shows except Brasilia, which goes on sale to the public on July 16.

In other news, Universal Germany has revealed a new cover image for the “Under The Makeup”-single. The first cover image turned out to be way too similar to the cover of Italian singer Victor’s 2014 single “I’m a Renegade”, so it had to be replaced (albeit with yet another generic stock image):

New single cover

New single cover

Article about Paul’s new Brooklyn studio

Paul in front of the modular synth system in his new studio earlier this year, before the studio had been completed (Picture from Dagbladet)

Paul in front of the modular synth system in his new studio earlier this year, before everything had been completed.
(Picture from Dagbladet) has posted an article about Paul’s new home studio in Brooklyn, which has been designed and built by Jim Keller of Sondhus.

“I wanted to build a place that actually sounded accurate. That was the big dream. And to be able to crank it up and for things to have some life”, Paul says.

Back in 2012, had a previous article about Paul’s old home studio in SoHo, which was full of instruments and equipment that he had collected over the years. Since then, he has scaled down his collection significantly.

“It was important for me to simplify with this place, and it was very important to me to have walking space. I just wanted to get rid of everything just so I could think straight. Of course I do sometimes regret selling some of those old beautiful vintage synths because I know I’ll never find them again.

But when you write songs, you can can lure yourself into the thought that ‘If I just get this, I’ll write these great songs.’ That old ploy. It worked on my wife, and I think I was able to trick myself for a while too”, he laughs.

Read the whole article at

‘Cast In Steel’ album cover

Platekompaniet has now posted the album cover of Cast In Steel. The cover photo was taken in Rio de Janeiro in December 2014 by Just Loomis.

Cover photo by Just Loomis

Cover photo by Just Loomis

“Under The Makeup” premieres on radio

Single cover

Single cover

The new a-ha single “Under The Makeup” has now premiered on Norwegian radio a few days early, after the song leaked online on Monday night.

The song features a big, orchestral arrangement, which Lars Horntveth comments on in a video posted by on YouTube: “We tried to do kind of like a big James Bond-ish arrangement on it. It was also inspired by a Bjørk song which is called “Play Dead” from her ‘Debut’ album. It sounds really big and almost like a “wall of sound” [production]”.

“Under The Makeup” has so far been getting mixed receptions from both fans and critics. As one fan put it on the West Of The Moon Forum: “Interestingly it seems to be satisfying neither the guitar rock brigade nor the synth brigade! It’s all about the strings, bass and orchestration. Could be promising however for the live set.”

VG‘s reviewer Stein Østbø gives the song 4/6 and calls it “Dripping with melancholy, majestic and sincere. And impossible to dislike.” But he feels the arrangement is overdone: “This song doesn’t need strings to underscore the drama of the lyrics and melody, this song needs a more sparse arrangement around Morten Harket’s voice.”

The song also gets 4/6 from Dagbladet: “The lyrics could easily be interpreted as confronting the ambivalence that the band has had to struggle with over the years. It’s about breaking up and reuniting. (…) Thanks to Harket’s trademark vocals and Paul Waaktaar-Savoy’s very distinct melodic signature, it’s hard for a-ha to do much wrong as long as they stick to their basic ingredients. But naturally that also makes them slightly predictable.”

Aftenposten‘s reviewer gives the song 5/6. “Whereas the previous album was leaning towards the modern pop of bands like Coldplay and The Killers, there’s something more genuine about the new single. (…) A bit pompous, but it sounds great, and it doesn’t take many listens before you’re singing along to the chorus.”

Adresseavisen also has a positive 5/6 review: “The song sticks in your head right at the first line and melody change, it only takes eight seconds to realize that this is a really good choice as a single.”

Dagsavisen however isn’t too impressed with the new single, giving it 3/6: “One could always hope, but “Under The Makeup” doesn’t exactly raise expectations ahead of the album Cast In Steel, and a-ha is now more reminiscent of a vanity project than a band with good ideas.”

Powered by WordPress