Monday, 12 July 2010

Music Monday: what is Oh Land doing in England?

I came across Oh Land quite recently on Myspace. There is quite a crop of current Scandinavian bands, from Sweden especially, who I have been following, but Oh Land stands out at the moment.

According to her Twitter, she is on her way to England. As far as I know, she hasn't got any gigs planned here. Who is she working with then? Or is she just here for a holiday? Who knows.

Oh Land, real name Nanna Oland Fabricius, is due to release her second album in August, her first for Sony. Her first, Fauna, was released on Fake Diamond to excellent reviews. In true RWL style, here's why she is worth listening to in five points:

1. She grew up in a family of classical musicians and was not encouraged to listen to modern pop music. The only band she was permitted to hear was the Beatles. Later, she discovered pop music through a Bjork album that she bought for herself. All of these things come through in Oh Land's music, from the Beatles' ear for a pop tune, the subtlety and delicacy of chamber music and the organic-electronic approach of Bjork.

2. She trained for a long period as a ballet dancer, until a back injury forced her to retire. This part of her life informs a lot of her lyrics, both explicitly (in Break the Chain) and more subtly (she has another song called Audition Day).

3. Fauna was mainly recorded by Nanna herself, playing various instruments including keyboards, guitar and orchestral instruments. She got some help with vocals on tracks like Heavy Eyes, which has also been remixed by Trentemoller.
Her second album apparently contains more collaborations with as-yet unknown musicians. It is said to have a dancier feel, so more remixes might be in the pipeline.

4. Her live show is very theatrical, making use of costumes and projections. Her videos are also dramatic, without being "wacky". (Take note, Lady Gaga).

5. Her sound is all hers, but some useful pointers are: CocoRosie (without so much of the self-conscious weirdness), Bjork (some vocal stylings, electronic/acoustic crossover) White Hinterland (soul influence, electronic sounds and textures.

Oh Land Myspace
Oh Land official site

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