Posts Tagged ‘frode unneland’

Great reviews for Savoy album and concert

Paul and Frode at Parkteatret, 11 January
(Picture by Carlos Maciá)

The good reviews for See The Beauty In Your Drab Hometown have kept coming since the album release last Friday. Here are a few more from the Norwegian press:

Dagsavisen (5/6): “Paul Waaktaar-Savoy’s songs are more vital than in a long time and oozing of confidence.”

Aftenposten (5/6): “An album that demands some time, but offers a lot of good and timeless pop music.”

Klassekampen (5/6): “After more than 20 years Savoy are reaching new creative heights, while maintaining a down-to-earth playfulness.”

Morgenbladet: “The frustration and (passive-)agressiveness that was a part of the previous albums has been replaced with a likeable musical optimism.”

Hamar Arbeiderblad (4/6): “The band make a departure from their previously guitar-driven sound in favour of a shameless flirt with 80s electro-pop. And as long as the result is this good, there’s nothing to be ashamed about.”

Åsane Tidende (4/6): “Low-key pop with a soul.”

Bergens Tidende (3/6): “The album includes both the alternative pop-rock they’re known for, and a more surprising element: synthpop.”

Lauren at Parkteatret, 11 January
(Picture by Carlos Maciá)

There have also been some album reviews on blogs and fansites:

Campaign For More a-ha Remastered Deluxes: “This album contains a truly great collection of songs. At this stage in his career, nobody needed any further proof that Pål Waaktaar-Savoy is a genius but we can all be thankful that he has once again supplied us with some.”

Popklikk: “See The Beauty In Your Drab Hometown features so many melodious and utterly fine songs that I’ve almost become addicted.”

The Wilhelmsens (6/6): “Paul deserves credit for his lyrics. He has an excellent way of combining music and lyrics, which always puts the song at the center.”

Dave’s Place Music: “See The Beauty In Your Drab Hometown is an album that shines from various lights, sometimes glowing like a nocturnal sun, sometimes glimmering like a candle in plain daylight, as it is surely intended to do with such an album-title.”

The Savoy concert at Parkteatret last Thursday has also been getting good reviews:

Musikknyheter (8/10): “A strong release concert, featuring many old songs. (…) Waaktaar sings better than ever, and with great authority and confidence. In particular on “End of the Line” and “Rain”. As a guitarist he was also impressive throughout the concert. (…) Savoy appeared as a skilled live band.”

Norway Rock Magazine (4,5/6): “Despite low expectations, this turned out to be a very enjoyable evening with Savoy in front of a crowd of 3-400 people.”

There are some great photo galleries from the concert on Flickr, taken by Johannes Andersen and Carlos Maciá. And a selection of video clips have been posted on YouTube.

Lauren and Paul signing albums at Big Dipper, 13 January
(Picture by Carlos Maciá)

No additional Savoy concerts are scheduled at the moment, but hopefully there will be more:

“We’ll probably do a few more concerts eventually, and we’re hoping to do some festivals. Unfortunately we had to turn down an offer from Bergenfest, due to other commitments, but of course we’re hoping to do a concert in my hometown”, Frode Unneland said in an interview with Åsane Tidende yesterday.

“We have actually talked about doing a club tour, just the three of us. We recently rehearsed as a trio in New York. It’s tempting. Savoy is a project without any stress. There’s no outside pressure to sell a lot of tickets. So there’s a great atmosphere when we’re working together”, Frode told Bergens Tidende in another interview last Friday (paywall).

Even though Savoy has only recorded one of Frode’s songs (which remains unreleased), he still feels that he’s actively contributing to the creative process:

“Savoy is basically our joint rock project. We all sing as well. The vocal work is very important to the band – and I think many struggle to hear the difference between Paul and myself.”

Frode also mentions that he’s been working on a new solo project, with 15 songs ready.

On Saturday Paul and Lauren signed copies of the new album at Big Dipper record store in Oslo. A lot of fans showed up, and the album was sold out within minutes after the signing started.

The album will be released in Germany tomorrow, 19 January, and the CD and vinyl can be ordered from amazon.de. In the UK the album will be out on 9 February and amazon.co.uk has the CD and vinyl available for pre-order.

Savoy at Parkteatret

Savoy and Zoe Gnecco performing “Velvet”
(Picture by Jakob)

Savoy played their first concert in nearly ten years at Parkteatret in Oslo tonight, to celebrate tomorrow’s release of See The Beauty In Your Drab Hometown.

Paul

The 18-song setlist featured songs from all of their albums, including four songs from the new album.

Paul, Lauren and Frode were joined by Linn Frøkedal on keyboards and Chris Holm on bass.

Lauren

Special guest Zoe Gnecco had flown in from New York for the show, and joined them on stage for a few songs from the World of Trouble album, plus a Waaktaar & Zoe version of “Under The Makeup” with slightly different lyrics. She also did the female vocals on “Velvet”.

Frode

Here’s the full setlist:

1. Tears From a Stone
2. I Still Cry
3. Manmade Lake
4. January Thaw
5. Girl One
6. End of the Line
7. Whalebone
8. Night Watch
9. Rain
10. Fearlist
11. Sycamore Leaves
12. Beautiful Burnout (w/ Zoe Gnecco)
13. World of Trouble (w/ Zoe Gnecco)
14. Under The Makeup (w/ Zoe Gnecco)
15. Daylight’s Wasting
16. Star
17. Velvet (w/ Zoe Gnecco)
18. Falls Park

The fansite a-ha France has posted a 45-minute video clip from the concert on Facebook, which can be seen here.

Some selected live pictures from Instagram:
Picture 1    Picture 2     Picture 3    Picture 4    Picture 5    Picture 6

New Savoy single “January Thaw”

Single cover

“January Thaw”, the second single from Savoy’s new album See The Beauty In Your Drab Hometown, was released by Drabant Music on Friday 5 January. Listen to the song here.

VG has published a new interview with Paul and Lauren, along with the premiere of the “January Thaw” music video, directed by Jason Brandenberg.

They have also been interviewed by Dagsavisen (paywall), which mentions that Paul and Lauren will be promoting the Savoy album in different countries while on the road with a-ha.

The first reviews of the new album, which is released on 12 January, have already started to appear:

Dagbladet (5/6): “In many ways the album seems to build a bridge between a-ha’s synth-dominated universe and Paul’s roots in 60s and 70s classic pop.”

VG (4/6): “Paul Waaktaar’s best vocal performance ever, and definitely one of the most consistent set of songs the married couple has delivered since [Mary is Coming].”

The Electricity Club: “Overall this is a confident – and surprisingly seamless – collection; playful, adventurous, and boasting a production that benefits from retaining its rough edges.”

On Thursday Savoy will be playing their first concert in nearly ten years at Parkteatret in Oslo. Tickets are still available from ticketmaster.no. According to Electricity Club, they will be joined by two musicians who haven’t played with Savoy before; Linn Frøkedal on keyboards and Chris Holm on bass. Zoe Gnecco will also be there as a special guest.

It’s been a very long time since Paul last visited the Parkteatret venue, which previously used to be a cinema. “I haven’t been there since I watched a Tarzan-movie as a 7-year-old”, he tells Dagsavisen.

On the contrast between playing live with a-ha and Savoy, he says:

“It’s like two different beasts. I always get something from one of them that I don’t get from the other. But everything is more vulnerable with Savoy. There’s more of a nerve to it, without a parachute. a-ha is a bigger production, with more you can lean on.”

On Saturday at 14:00, Savoy will be signing copies of the new album at the Big Dipper record store in Oslo. It might be possible to get other items signed as well; “I’ll sign any album I’ve worked on…anything but blank checks”, Paul wrote in a comment on Instagram, alongside a preview of the gatefold vinyl edition.

Fans who aren’t able to be at the signing session on Saturday can pre-order the album from Big Dipper now and receive a signed copy in the mail (only inside Norway).

‘See The Beauty In Your Drab Hometown’ tracklist

Album cover

The tracklist of the upcoming Savoy album See The Beauty In Your Drab Hometown (12/01/18) has now been posted on amazon.co.uk and other Amazon sites, along with 30-second samples of each song.

1. Night Watch
2. A Month Of Sundays
3. Falls Park
4. Manmade Lake
5. Bump
6. January Thaw
7. Shy Teens Suffering Silently
8. We’re The Same Way
9. Sunlit Byways
10. (My) Weathervane

As we can see, the album includes new Savoy-versions of the previously released “Manmade Lake” and “Weathervane”. The song Lauren wrote for her short film Scent of a Woman is now called “Bump”.

Besides the digital release, the album will be available on CD and as a gatefold vinyl.

Tonight, Ørjan Nilsson and Audun Vinger will be doing another conversation about Tårer fra en stein, this time held at the library in Tromsø. It will include the premiere of one of the songs on the album, “Falls Park”, exclusively for the audience.

“Night Watch” available now

“Night Watch”, the first single from Savoy’s upcoming album See The Beauty In Your Drab Hometown has now been released digitally worldwide. Listen on your preferred streaming service here, and watch the music video on YouTube.

Single cover

“Night Watch” is a surprisingly potent and contemporary track and is – besides “Foreign Film” and “Fearlist” – the closest Savoy has ever been to the dancefloor.

A classic Waaktaar-Savoy song, with carefully layered synths and guitars – but with a gritty edge and pounding beat, or “dark dance” as Lauren called it in a recent interview. Especially halfway through the song, when you’re suddenly transported to a dark and sweaty club.

Paul has said he’s “super excited” about the new album, and this is certainly a very promising start.

Although Savoy have had several gold- and platinum-selling albums in Norway, international success has been elusive so far. It “could have happened / almost did”, as Paul sings in “Night Watch”. Maybe the new album will open new doors, and 2018 will prove to be Savoy’s year?

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.

‘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.

Powered by WordPress