Archive for the ‘Savoy’ Category

New Savoy album: ‘See The Beauty In Your Drab Hometown’

New publicity photo by Jason Brandenberg

The new Savoy album is called See The Beauty In Your Drab Hometown and is scheduled for release on 12 January. First single “Night Watch” is coming on 24 November. See the single and album covers on the Savoy Facebook page.

Savoy have signed with Oslo-based Drabant Music for this album, the same record label that released the Waaktaar & Zoe album earlier this year.

In a new interview with Dagbladet today, Paul and Lauren reveal that Augie moved to California this summer to study, which means they now have more time to focus on the band.

“We have time to fill. We were “football parents” for 15 years, with lots to do all the time. Now there’s a void”, Paul says.

“I don’t want to be moping about an “empty nest”. It feels like a kick in the butt when your kid leaves home. Suddenly you have more capacity to do the things you want”, Lauren says.

According to Dagbladet there’s a clearer connection between Savoy and a-ha on the new album. Lauren says that’s partly because of the massive Moog-synth in their home studio:

“While Paul has a dark dimension as a composer, he is also good at making dance music. I call it “dark dance”, which I think is something new for us. Just like the album title we’re mixing ugliness with beauty, darkness with light.”

The interview also mentions the fact that since Savoy last released music, a new Brooklyn-based band with the same name has garnered some attention in the US:

“I couldn’t believe it. We take a little break, and these guys show up. But she’s the real Savoy”, Paul says with a laugh and nods towards his wife.

He admits that it’s annoying, but says there’s no use in suing them.

As for the album title See The Beauty In Your Drab Hometown, Paul says that it doesn’t refer to Oslo, New York or Bergen, but something more abstract:

“Maybe it’s Manglerud – he he. No, I think it’s more about the grass always being greener on the other side. The point is that you have to be actively looking for beauty. It’s easy to dismiss it – and sometimes you don’t even have the chance to go somewhere else.”

Savoy are now also on Twitter. You can follow the band here.

Savoy preparing to release new album

Savoy live in Tromsø, October 2004 (Picture by Suzie Dent)

Savoy are now finally preparing to release their much-awaited sixth studio album, the first release since 2007’s career retrospective Savoy Songbook Vol. 1 and the first new studio album since 2004’s self-titled Savoy album.

This week Frode Unneland has visited Paul and Lauren in New York, where they have done a photo session, been in the studio and worked on a music video with director Jason Brandenberg.

Last month Brandenberg was directing a music video for a new Savoy song called “Night Watch”, so this week’s shoot may be additional scenes for that video.

The “Night Watch” video is described as follows in an online casting call: “The lives of two teens and other insomniac inhabitants of a housing project turn surreal and disturbing on a sweltering summer night”.

But this is not the first music video shoot for the new album. Back in August, Paul and Lauren were in Los Angeles to do a music video for the song “January Thaw”, which was described as having “a mid-1940s avant-garde feel, in the style of Maya Deren films” in another casting call. The plot; “Two women playing cat’s cradle are spooked by the arrival of a mysterious cloaked figure”.

A couple of pictures from the “January Thaw” video shoot were posted by Lauren on Instagram:  Picture 1    Picture 2

The book Tårer fra en stein mentions two other songs on the new album; “Manmade Lake” – which Paul already released as a solo single in 2014 – and “Falls Park”.

“On the Savoy album we’re recording now there’s a song called “Falls Park”, which I found in one of my old notebooks a while ago and played for Lauren. She really liked it and thought it was a brand new song that I had written the day before. But I actually wrote it when I was 16″, Paul tells Ørjan Nilsson in the book.

The new album has been in the making for quite a while. Back in April 2014, Paul said they were going to finalize the album that summer, but that apparently didn’t happen. In November 2015, Frode joined the others for a recording session at the Clubhouse studio in Rhinebeck, New York. In October 2016, Paul said he was currently mixing the Savoy album with Steve Osborne and that he was “super excited” about it. In January 2017 he said the album had been mastered and would probably be released in September. Now it looks like it’s coming in early 2018.

“It’s been really fun returning to Savoy now, because the songs sound so fresh. One of the songs on the new album was written for a short film I directed (Scent of a Woman), so this time the songs have come from a variety of places. Many of the songs have been written by Paul in our house in Woodstock, and they are really beautiful”, Lauren says in the book.

Be sure to follow Paul, Lauren and Frode on Instagram for more Savoy updates.

BTW, a petition has been started to get Tårer fra en stein translated into English. You can add your support by signing the petition here.

New Savoy reissues: solid remastering, but shorter than the original albums

Mountains of Time inner cover with new liner notes by Kieron Tyler, record sleeve with lyrics, and CD.

The new and remastered version of Savoy’s Mountains of Time (1999) was released by Apollon Records last month, and those who pre-ordered the vinyl and CD versions from the Savoy Bandcamp page are finally starting to receive their items.

I have only had a chance to listen to the new CD version so far, but from the first moments of the opening track “Man in the Park”, the increased clarity and detail resulting from Joe Lambert’s new remastering work is striking. There’s an added punch to the drums and the layered guitars sound razor sharp. To my ears, it sounds really good throughout the album.

But those familiar with the original album will also notice that many of the songs are noticeably shorter on this reissue. That was also the case with the Lackluster Me reissue last year, which was 2 minutes 13 seconds shorter than the original 1997 release – but it’s even more obvious on Mountains of Time, which has been shortened by 3 minutes 12 seconds in total, compared to the 1999 release.

While most of the edited songs simply fade out earlier, some of them, like “Any Other Way” and “Grind You Down” have parts missing in the middle of the songs.

According to Apollon Records, editing some of the songs for the new vinyl editions is Paul’s own choice, as it was necessary in order to fit the albums on one vinyl record in best possible sound quality. The original albums were never recorded with the vinyl format in mind.

But that’s not really the issue; regardless of the need to shorten the albums for vinyl, the original full-length versions could easily have been used on the new CDs and digital versions. That has not been done. Additionally, Apollon Records has also chosen not to mention the new song edits anywhere.

They are still fantastic albums, in beautifully presented gatefold covers with new and informative liner notes. But it’s confusing when certain parts of the songs you’re so used to hearing suddenly are missing.

According to some fans, there is also an error on the actual Mountains of Time vinyl record, in the form of a “clicking” noise at the end of some songs that sounds like someone changing tracks. This is not present on the CD version.

For more detailed info about which songs have been edited, check out these comparisons between the original CDs and the reissue CDs:
Lackluster Me (1997 vs 2016)
Mountains of Time (1999 vs 2017)

‘Mountains of Time’ to be reissued in July

The new Mountains of Time album cover

Savoy’s third and most successfull album Mountains of Time from 1999 is set to be reissued by Apollon Records on 14 July, the label announced on its Facebook page today. The reissue will be available on CD, vinyl and digitally. There will also be limited edition T-shirts.

Update: pre-orders can now be made at the Savoy bandcamp page.

The Mountains of Time reissue was originally slated for release in May this year, with Reasons To Stay Indoors to follow in July, but both of them seem to have been pushed back a few months.

While the cover of last year’s Lackluster Me reissue was mostly similar to the original, this new reissue of Mountains of Time will feature a brand new cover. The cover image seems to interpret the album title quite literally, showing both mountains and an hourglass.

For more info on Savoy and Paul’s other side projects over the years, check out a new and detailed article written by Barry Page for The Electricity Club.

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).

Apollon Records to reissue Savoy albums

Savoy

Savoy

Savoy have signed a contract with Bergen-based Apollon Records to reissue all their five studio albums on CD, vinyl and digitally; Mary is Coming (1996), Lackluster Me (1997), Mountains of Time (1999), Reasons to Stay Indoors (2001) and Savoy (2004).

“We have signed a contract with Apollon to reissue all the first five Savoy albums. This will be the first time they are released on vinyl and on digital platforms”, Paul told Bergensavisen earlier this week.

No release date has been set so far, but it appears Lackluster Me will be released first, as Warner in the US has yet to greenlight the reissue of Mary is Coming.

“Apollon has shown great enthusiasm for Savoy for a long time and that means a lot to us. It means everything, really”, Paul says on the decision to sign with Apollon Records.

The deal with Apollon does not include the new Savoy album, which will hopefully be released sometime later this year.

“The new Savoy album will be mixed now before the summer and has not been signed to any label yet”, Paul says.

Paul is also preparing to release the album he’s recorded with Zoe Gnecco. A music video of a song from the album will premiere at the a-ha fan convention in Oslo later this month. More info on a-ha.com.

Savoy recording new album in New York

Savoy

Savoy

Frode Unneland has been in New York this week, to work on the next Savoy album together with Paul and Lauren.

Paul posted a few pictures on Facebook and Instagram today, confirming that the band is currently recording at a studio in Rhinecliff, New York.

They were originally planning to finalize the Savoy album in the summer of 2014, but that was apparently postponed until now.

In an interview with the newspaper Åsane Tidende last week, Frode said they are planning to release both a new album and to reissue the old Savoy albums on vinyl.

Frode is also drumming for another band at the moment, Evig Din For Alltid, which released their third album last month, entitled Tilbake Til Byen. It includes two songs written by him. He says the two bands are quite different entities:

“It’s really fun and exciting to be a part of Savoy, but it’s a totally different world compared to Evig Din For Alltid, which is more like a bunch of buddies hanging out. But it’s really exciting to be working together with Paul; we’re having a great time together”, Frode says in the interview.

Savoy’s last studio album was released in 2004, while a double “best of” album of old songs, re-recorded versions and some new songs followed in 2007. The band last performed together in 2008.

Update on new Savoy album

New album from Frode, Lauren and Paul

New album from Frode, Lauren and Paul

Savoy-drummer Frode Unneland was interviewed by Åsane Tidende this week, in connection with his other band Evig Din For Alltid which will be releasing its second album Åtte Minutter Fra Solen on September 5th.

Back in April, Paul told a-ha.com that a new Savoy album – the first since 2007’s Savoy Songbook Vol. 1 – would be finalized with Frode this summer. The Åsane Tidende interview now states that Frode will be going to New York next month to work on the Savoy album with Paul and Lauren. But when it will be released remains to be seen.

As for Paul, he’s been working on something in his home studio in Oslo this summer, with Karl Oluf Wennerberg on the drums. Karl Oluf posted a picture from the sessions on Instagram last month.

Links:
Evig Din For Alltid on Soundcloud and Facebook

Paul on Facebook and Instagram

Paul: New Savoy album in the works

Frode, Lauren and Paul in 2007.

Frode, Lauren and Paul in 2007.

The second part of the Q&A with Paul is now up on a-ha.com.

Not only is he working on the first Waaktaar album, there is also a new Savoy album to look forward to, Paul says:

“There is indeed a Savoy album in the works. We have lots of new songs recorded and we will finalize the album with our drummer, Frode, this summer. I also would like to release the whole Savoy catalogue on iTunes and Spotify as well as vinyl. So far, they’ve only been released on CD.”

He says his main focus will always be on releasing full albums:

“The album concept seems to be a bit washed out these days, but that’s what I grew up with so I’ll always have that as the main focus. However, it is fun to release a track like “Manmade Lake” and get an immediate reaction. I definitely want to do more of that.”

He also repeats what he’s said in the past, about how the idea to end a-ha felt like a business decision:

“The idea to end the band was forced. Not natural. It felt like a business decision to me. Just someone’s bright idea.
We can still play, still sing, we still have tons of songs to record.
And we still have a huge loving audience!
…crazy.”

Read all of his answers, including info about the cover image of “Manmade Lake”, what he’s been listening to lately and his thoughts on songwriting, over on a-ha.com.

For more updates from Paul, follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Soundcloud.

Jimmy Gnecco interview

Jimmy Gnecco - The Heart

The cover of Jimmy Gnecco’s first solo album
The Heart, released earlier this year.

The support act in Amsterdam was Paul’s good friend and collaborator from New York, Jimmy Gnecco, who will open for a-ha at another five concerts this week.

Gnecco, who did the lead vocals on “The Breakers” and backing vocals on “Shooting Spree” for Savoy’s self-titled album in 2004, revealed in a recent interview with uberrock.co.uk that Paul actually asked him to join the band at one point – an idea that was shot down by Savoy’s record company:

So how did you get to know Paul Savoy?

I met him in ’96. My friend was playing with Savoy and I met him then. And then I got my deal. It was weird because I’m a huge fan of a-ha and Savoy’s first record [‘Mary Is Coming’]. I mean I like a lot of his records but the first one I’m such a huge fan of. And then I started making records and he genuinely became a fan and he called me – he loved ‘Precious’ – he asked me if I wanted to sing on anything I said: “in a second!” then I went down and I sang on a bunch of songs and then he asked me to join the band and I said: “sure” – I’d be like an honorary member you know.

Then they went back and talked to their record company and the record company was like: “we like your voices that’s why we signed you” – they didn’t really want me to do it. They didn’t know me. I’m sure they liked it but…I’m hoping to do something with Paul in the future.

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