Posts Tagged ‘paul waaktaar-savoy’

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.

‘Tårer fra en stein’ to be published in German

Munich-based publishing company Riva has secured the rights to a German edition of Ørjan Nilsson’s book about Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, NTB reports via Gaffa.no.

The book is set to be published sometime in February/March 2018 and will be translated by Daniela Stilzebach, who has previously translated Norwegian books about Knut Hamsun and Edvard Munch into German.

“The German title of the book has not been decided yet”, Nilsson tells NTB.

The Norwegian first printing of 1500 copies sold out quickly, and there will be a second printing of 2000 books.

“There’s a big potential”, Norwegian publisher Christer Falck says.

‘MTV Unplugged: Summer Solstice’ and ‘Tårer fra en stein’ now available

The new book and Blu-ray

A big release day on Friday, as a-ha’s new live album/video MTV Unplugged: Summer Solstice was released in eight different versions and the Norwegian edition of Ørjan Nilsson’s book about Paul Waaktaar-Savoy was published.

If you haven’t yet ordered MTV Unplugged: Summer Solstice, here are the links:
Fanbox (amazon.de), Blu-ray (amazon.de / amazon.co.uk), DVD (amazon.de / amazon.co.uk), 2CD (amazon.de / amazon.co.uk), 2CD+Blu-ray (amazon.de / amazon.co.uk), 2CD+DVD (amazon.de), 3LP (amazon.de / amazon.co.uk) and 1CD (amazon.co.uk). Plus download and streaming.

BBC Breakfast, October 5th

For those of you wondering about the Blu-ray and DVD, they have now both been officially confirmed to be region-free.

To promote the live album, Magne and Morten were guests on BBC Breakfast on Thursday, while Morten visited ITV’s Loose Women on Friday.

Morten also did radio interviews with BBC Radio Oxford (starts at 30:30), BBC Hereford & Worcester (starts at 1:17:00) and BBC Radio Devon (to be broadcast on October 14th).

Paul Waaktaar-Savoy and Ørjan Nilsson

In Norway there has been extensive media coverage of Tårer fra en stein and the first printing of the book is actually already sold out, with a second printing set to follow soon, according to BA (paywall).

I won’t reveal too much of the 300-page book here (stay tuned for possible translations into other languages), but it goes in-depth about Paul’s songwriting, inspirations and career in a way that has never been done before.

“We’re unlikely to ever get a more detailed portrait of Waaktaar Savoy”, VG says in its review of the book.

There was a book launch at Tronsmo bookstore in Oslo on Friday, where author Ørjan Nilsson was interviewed by Audun Vinger in front of an audience which included Paul’s mother Gerd. A video of the full conversation has been posted on Facebook.

The Norwegian edition of the book can be ordered from haugenbok.no, tanum.no, platekompaniet.no or bigdipper.no.

For more information about the book in English, read a new interview with Ørjan Nilsson at The Electricity Club.

Summer Solstice reviews:
VG (CD: 4/6, DVD: 5/6)    Aftenposten (4/6)    Dagsavisen (4/6) (paywall)
The Irish News (6/10)    Scandishop online

Articles/reviews on Tårer fra en stein:
VG: Paul Waaktaar-Savoy i a-ha med ny bok: Lammes av sosial angst
NRK: Vurderte å starte duo med Morten Harket
Gaffa: Nå vil han prøve å rette opp i navneforvirringen
Gaffa: Mener katastrofe-konserten på Øya ødela mye
Dagbladet: Pål Waaktaar Savoy røper konfliktene som har ødelagt for a-ha (paywall)
Dagsavisen: Et stille mysterium (paywall)
Morgenbladet: Sjenert Mussolini (paywall)

‘Tårer fra en stein’ book pre-order

The front cover features a previously unseen photo from the early 80s, taken by Viggo Bondi

Ørjan Nilsson’s upcoming book about Paul’s life and career, Tårer fra en stein, will be published in Norway on 6 October and can now be pre-ordered from bidra.no (signed by the author).

The 302-page book (written in Norwegian) is based on extensive interview sessions with Paul over the last two years, where he has opened up more than ever before. The book goes into great detail about every aspect of his songwriting and musicianship, making it the definitive account on Paul’s creative output over the years.

Nilsson has also interviewed a number of Paul’s family members, friends and colleagues, including his wife Lauren, his parents Olav and Gerd, his sister Tonje, Alan Tarney, Viggo Bondi and Hågen Rørmark.

The book also features a number of previously unseen photos from the early days and lyric sketches from Paul’s personal notebooks.

In connection with the book release, a ltd. ed. 7″ vinyl featuring cover versions of “Whalebone” by the author’s own band Willow and “Manhattan Skyline” by Kings of Convenience will be included for those who pre-order through bidra.no.

On 6 October there will be a book launch at Tronsmo book store in Oslo, where Ørjan Nilsson will talk about Tårer fra en stein with music journalist Audun Vinger.

Tårer fra en stein can also be pre-ordered from haugenbok.no, tanum.no, platekompaniet.no or bigdipper.no.

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)

“Laundromat” single release

Single cover

In the midst of everything going on with a-ha at Giske recently, Drabant Music released “Laundromat” as the fourth single off Waaktaar & Zoe’s World of Trouble album on 16 June. Available on iTunes, Spotify etc.

“Laundromat easily stands out as the best track on the album”, Norwegian music site Gaffa said in its review of World of Trouble earlier this year. “It is cheeky and sexy, and takes unexpected turns in its buildup.”

As with the previous three singles, “Laundromat” is also accompanied by a music video, which was released on 20 June and directed by Jason Brandenberg and Lauren Savoy.

This is the first video Lauren has done for the Waaktaar & Zoe project, while Jason Brandenberg also directed the video for “Tearful Girl”.

Drabant Music press release

New book about Paul coming this fall

Paul Waaktaar-Savoy and author Ørjan Nilsson
(Photo by Ivar Kvaal)

October 2017 will see the release of the first book focused on Paul Waaktaar-Savoy’s music, life and career.

The book is called Tårer fra en stein (Tears from a stone) and has been written by Norwegian journalist Ørjan Nilsson, based on extensive interview sessions with Paul in New York, Berlin, Hamburg and Oslo over the last two years.

“I have listened to a-ha all my life, and I have long wanted to take a deeper look at Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, a man who usually doesn’t say too much”, Nilsson tells Dagsavisen.

“It took some time before he opened up, but he hasn’t held back on anything. He has answered any questions and talked about everything from religion, family and adolescence, to the inner conflicts in a-ha and his problems with social anxiety.”

According to a press release about the book, Paul opens up about “his work, mindset and music. About art, film and literature. About his adolescence in suburban Oslo in the 60s and 70s, his life in America over nearly 30 years, his successes and failures. About a-ha, Savoy and Bridges. About giant crowds in arenas and stadiums, about concerts in front of 50 people. About politics, The Doors and Gunvor Hofmo. About his wife Lauren. About Morten and Magne.”

Tårer fra en stein will be published by Falck Forlag, which has previously published books about Hunting High and Low and Scoundrel Days in its series of books about the 100 best Norwegian albums of all time. As part of the same series, Nilsson wrote a book about the Kings of Convenience album Quiet Is the New Loud in 2014.

‘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.

“Open Face” single release

“Open Face” single cover

“Open Face”, the third single from Waaktaar & Zoe’s World of Trouble album, was released on 7 April and can be purchased/streamed here.

A music video for the song, directed by Jenny Woods, premiered exclusively on the French Rolling Stone website today and can also be seen on YouTube.

For more in-depth info on Waaktaar & Zoe, check out the extensive interview Paul did with the Super Deluxe Edition website last month.

As for possible Waaktaar & Zoe live dates, Paul says in the interview there’s still a chance it might happen:

“I would love to because she has a really powerful voice. I’m just trying to figure out how it could be done. I’m toying with the idea of doing a double show, where Savoy can do one half and Zoe can do the other half… stuff like that, to make it workable for me, as well. (…) The original idea was to do some festivals first, in the summer, but it got a little bit tight with the unplugged thing with a-ha, so we’ll see. Once we get to the end of the summer, the fall period is fairly open for me, so I’m hoping that would be a good place to do some gigs.”

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