‘My Sun’ from Mona Andersen and Maria Knudsen - charismatic music(August 22, 2013)
This week it’s obviously my turn to review the albums and bands that defy classification, and ‘My Sun’ from Mona Andersen and Maria Knudsen is one of them. It’s also going to take some people entirely by surprise. One reason is that Mona and Maria were once an integral part of the Bazooka Boppers and for those that recognise the names this music is entirely different. The other reason is that this album could as easily come from the flower-filled days of 60’s psychedelia as from today. So if you’re prepared to open your mind and let the music flood in then sit back and float away with ‘My Sun’.
The lead track ‘My Sun’ has all the necessary psyche elements to make it a classic Summer of Love replay – ethereal vocals, sonorous bass lines, layered strings and strange sound effects – it’s all there. And actually it’s rather attractive and absorbing. The atmosphere persists into ‘Northern Wind’ the voices are more prominent this time and the stylish vocals allure once again as does the mixture of sounds. Nordic folk has gained a reputation for being somewhat inward-looking and darkly brooding, and you could level that observation at some of this album ‘Let The Light’ is a classic example. Then again, listen to ‘Silent Summer’ and you’re whisked away on a pop-inspired pysch-folk wave of sunshine, good times and sparkling guitars, while ‘Golden Mind’ offers a softly, reflective ballad with two voices working as one.
‘My Sun’ is an amalgam of parts – folk and psychedelia interwoven with discovery and experiment, and if it’s hard to classify, why bother? If I was pressed I’d call it ‘musical balm’ but for me it’s just charismatic music.
Also participating on ‘My Sun’ are some of Norway’s best musical talents: Martin Horntveth (percussion) David Wallumrød (keys) Eivind Staxrud (guitars) Olaf Olsen (drums) Knut Schreiner (guitar) Marcus Bror Forsgren (guitar) Emil Nikolaisen (guest arrangement) Kaja Fjellberg Pettersen (cello) Bendik Brænne (saxophone, flute) Henning Sansdalen (bass) Hans Friis (trombone) and members of KORK (strings and bassoon).
Reviewer: Dan Holland