Today when I arrived at the office I found a mysterious looking parcel on my desk. The many stamps on the front indicated that the parcel had been sent from Norway, which naturally piqued my interest considering I don’t actually know anyone from Norway. I opened it up to find an incredibly sweet letter from Stord-based band Familiefortaket (meaning ‘The Family Concern’), with a copy of their 2016 album ‘Going North‘. In the letter, they explained that many years ago, they visualised releasing their music as a message in a bottle, even going as far as identifying the best streams to release them in and the dilemma of how to keep a USB stick dry in the vast expanse of the Atlantic. Whilst they never got round to doing this, the arrival of their personalised letter touched me deeply – writing a blog is much like putting a message in a bottle in the hope that someone, somewhere will happen upon it on some lonely beach far from here. This blog has served as a sounding board for my thoughts, mundane as they can be, and I often wonder if anyone is actually tuning in to these little snapshots of my life and the music I’m listening to, so it’s nice to know that one band in Norway is enjoying them. Having listened to the album, I’m particularly enjoying the first track ‘Horses’. With haunting vocals courtesy of singer and songwriter Cecilie Anna, the song examines themes of travel, life, and death, with a wintery soundscape evoking the landscapes of the North. Blustery runs on the keys and synth drones accent the rhythmic guitar and provide an element of otherworldliness to the folky sound world, until the instruments eventually descend into chaotic noise. Lamenting and ethereal, I’m glad they didn’t take a chance on the tempestuous currents of the North Atlantic and instead chose to deliver this track in a cosy paper package.
N.B If you are an artist who wants to be featured on the blog, why not send me free stuff and write flattering letters to me? It goes down extremely well.