Posts Tagged ‘Pop’

You can try and define LETHE and their music, but the probability that you will fall wide of the mark is pretty much guaranteed, because this duo don’t care about genre expectations or boundaries.  What they do care about, deeply, is that there should be no rules, no expectations and no compromises.

Formed at the end of 2012 by Tor-Helge Skei (MANES, MANII etc.) and Anna Murphy (CELLAR DARLING, ex-ELUVEITIE), LETHE is a “home” for Anna and Tor-Helge’s musical and artistic experiments,  which have developed into something personal and unique, and quite “different”. 

Both lyrically and conceptually LETHE is, according to the band:

Like a journey through the ‘back alleys of the human mind/psyche’, through dreams and nightmares, paranoia, mental breakdown, inner darkness.. No religion, fantasy, or pretend play.. Real life, real experiences, real horror.

In an attempt to categorise LETHE’s heady brew of metal / triphop / electronic / pop / experimental sounds,  terms such as “genre-bending”, “style-bastardization”, “eclectic”, and even “just plain weird”  have been bandied around. But none of these can encompass what the duo, along with a long list of external contributors, have produced on  their first two full-length albums:  2014’s “When Dreams Become Nightmares” and 2017’s “The First Corpse on the Moon”. 

What LETHE’s third full-length album will produce will become clear later this year when it is set to be released on Dark Essence Records.  Delayed due to the pandemic, the band are currently mixing,  mastering and putting the finishing touches on the album,  and all anyone will say about it is that fans should  “Expect the unexpected”

More information about LETHE can be found on the band’s Facebook page at or on their website at

A video for the LETHE’s 2020 single “Gamma”  can be seen below and at

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Following on from the hugely successful release at the beginning of last year of “Playing House”,  the second full-length album from the Alternative Pop Orchestra MEER,  Karisma Records found themselves selling out of the vinyl version in record time. 

With fans still clamouring for an LP, the label has decided to release a new Limited Edition vinyl re-press of “Playing House”,  which has appeared in multiple “Best Of 2021” lists.   Strictly limited to 500 copies, the re-press of “Playing House” will be available as a Red Vinyl Double LP.

Set for release on the 25th March it is now available to pre-order from:

North American Webshop: 

To celebrate the upcoming release, MEER have released a live video of the band performing the track “Beehive”, which can be seen below and at

It is a track about which the band had this to say:

Beehive has been a long-time favourite on our live sets, and we love how the album version turned out. It’s sensual, chaotic, powerful and definitely one of our most hard hitting songs. The cinematic strings, heavy guitars and arpeggiated synthesizers create a suggestive drive over which Johanne gets to belt her heart out. We often work together composing as a collective, and for “Beehive” drummer Mats came up with the opening piano riff and then the rest of the band  added new parts, hooks and lyrics to it on several jams and rehearsals. We are thrilled to finally share this powerhouse with you!

With artwork by Helena Haglund and Simen Skar, “Playing House”  was Recorded at Ocean Sound Recording and Tanken, with producer Lars Gärtner Fremmerlid (EINAR STRAY ORCHESTRA) at the helm.   Tracklisting for “Playing House”, which is also available in CD and Digital formats, is as follows:

1. Picking Up the Pieces
2. Beehive
3. All at Sea
4. Songs of Us
5. Child
6. You were a Drum
7. Honey
8. Across the Ocean
9. She Goes
10. Where do We Go from Here?
11. Lay it Down
Vinyl only bonus track:
12. Here I Go Again (Whitesnake cover)

Formed back in 2008 MEER was, at that time,  simply a duo known as TED GLEN EXTENDED, but the band has now expanded its lineup to  become a veritable orchestra whose eight members include Johanne Kippersund on vocals, Knut Kippersund on vocals, Eivind Strømstad on guitar, Åsa Ree on violin, Ingvild Nordstoga Eide on viola, Ole Gjøstøl on keyboards, Morten Strypet on bass and Mats Lillehaug on drums.

With such a large lineup, it was inevitable that a variety of styles and influences would find their way into MEER’s material, creating a sound that is an eclectic mix of orchestral pop, classical music and progressive rock.   It is a massive sound comprised of  fantastic melodies and harmonies, not to mention quite a few surprises along the way.

More information about MEER can be found on the band’s Facebook page at

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Oak PR1

When a band’s members all come from backgrounds as diverse as classical piano, electronica, prog and hard-rock, and if they manage to pull it all together in a consummate fashion to create a unique sound, you would be safe to guess that the band was Norway’s OAK.   And, with their latest full-length album “False Memory Archive” due out on Karisma Records on the 19th October,  the Pop/Rockers have released the title track as a single, about which they have this to say:

If you are somewhat loose with everyone’s  conception of what ‘Pop’ actually is, then  the track “False Memory Archive” is the album’s pop leitmotif,  which still unmistakably sounds like OAK.  It also happens to be the album’s title track and, as such, it serves as a kind of introduction to the theme of the whole album.  It is a song that appears  light and happy in its expression, but all the while it still contains its fair share of darkness

The track “False Memory Archive” is available from, or can be heard at

Oak-falsememoryarchive single PR.png

Or you can hear it below

Since starting out as a folk-rock duo, and releasing their 2013 debut album “Lighthouse”, OAK’s lineup of Øystein Sootholtet (Bass, guitars, banjo, keys & programming), Simen Valldal Johannessen (vocals, piano, keys & lyrics), Sigbjørn Reiakvam (drums, percussion, programming & keys), Ole Michael Bjørndal (guitars) and Stephan Hvinden (guitars), have made considerable strides as both musicians and songwriters as their sophomore album demonstrates.

There is still a nod in the direction of the debut full-length, but “False Memory Archive” is both darker and groovier , whilst retaining that successful amalgam of sound that is neither wholly progressive pop, nor wholly progressive rock,  but which is absolutely trademark OAK  and is comprised of catchy elements and stunning vocal harmonies, which create that unique duality that defines them as a band.

Oak PR2

“False Memory Archive” was recorded in Oslo at the Ljugekroken Studio and the Tøyen Church, and was  mixed and mastered by Jens Bogren and OAK at the Fascination Studios.  With front cover artwork by  Lisa Love and design by Deformat, and featuring a guest appearance on guitars by Bjorn RIIS, tracklisting for “False Memory Archive” is as follows:

  1. We, The Drowned
  2. Claire De Lune
  3. False Memory Archuve
  4. Lost Causes (Bjorn Riis guesting on guitar)
  5. Intermezzo
  6. The Lights
  7. These Are The Stars We’re Aiming For
  8. Transparent Eyes
  9. Psalm 51

Oak AlbumArt PR

“False Memory Archive” will be released in CD, Digital and Crystal Clear Vinyl formats, and is now available to pre-order at:


Oak PR3

More information about OAK can be found on the band’s Facebook page at or on their website at

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Lydia Laska Logo PR

The following press released has been issued by Edged Circle Productions.  Should you require any additional info please don’t hesitate to contact them at

 Today, Edged Circle Productions sets October 26th as the North American release date for Lydia Laska‘s highly anticipated second album, Ego Death. The European release date is set for October 5th.

First track premiere to be revealed shortly. In the meantime, view a special/perverse teaser video below and  at Edged Circle‘s official YouTube channel at

Lydia Laska
 hail from Stavanger and Oslo, Norway. Forming in 2002, its members come from a diverse musical background, including (but certainly not limited to) the early black metal scene as well as prog/krautrock, punk, and good ol’ rock ‘n’ roll. The band’s recorded debut came in 2006 with the White Trash Attack EP, and was followed by two more EPs – We’re Nothing Compared to Ourselves (2007) and Could I Have a Go On Your Girl, Please? (2009) – but it wasn’t until their debut album in 2010, Krankenhaus, where the Lydia Laska aesthetic truly took flight. A devilishly dark, boldly bewildering, but above all perversely catchy sound emerged, drawing in such disparate influences as the Velvet Underground, Faust, David Bowie, Royal Trux, The Stooges, and old-school black metal. Not long after its release, Krankenhaus went on to be critically acclaimed and served as an admitted prime influence for fellow hybrid-benders Kvelertak. Continuing that momentum, Lydia Laska soon became notorious for their chaotic live shows – to the point where they actually had to stop playing gigs since they were generally banned from most venues.

With the stage thus set, anticipation is high for Lydia Laska‘s long-awaited second album. Fittingly titled Ego Death, this is the sound of Lydia Laska becoming both brasher and smoother, rougher and more come-hither, swaggering and silky: a truly unique sound that can take over both radio and squats alike. Indeed, life has been that much rougher since the release of Krankenhaus, and the band’s sonic influences are even more varied and violent this time. Knowing beforehand that the stakes were high, Lydia Laska chose to record Ego Death with esteemed producer Emil Nikolaisen (Årabrot, Todd Rundgren, Serena-Maneesh).

What results is an even-more-kaleidoscopic stroll through the gutter, even for those already well versed in Lydia Laska‘s mischievous ways. Each of the ten tracks across Ego Death could be a radio hit in the own right…if the radio station was entrenched in the darkest, dingiest sewer and was playing warring factions simultaneously. And yet, for however schizophrenic Ego Death might sound on the surface, beneath that surface is an entirely earnest and completely composed method to the mayhem. Each hook shimmers and stabs, but always with the target being both one’s ears and heart; it’s ridiculously difficult to get these songs outta your head. Nikolaisen’s production no doubt aids in Lydia Laska‘s earworming nature here, with the soundfield finding a strange – and strangely alluring – balance between shambling and stately, regal and righteously ripped. It is, ultimately, the epitome of an Ego Death.

So, are you prepared for Lydia Laska and that very Ego Death? Will you step forward into the gutter, only to be splashed with sonic slime that will never wash off? Questions, questions…

Cover and tracklisting are as follows:

Tracklisting for Lydia Laska’s Ego Death
1. Teslicity, Baby!
2. You
3. Taste Of Blood
4. Brainmelt
5. I Can Play Myself
6. Gout Lord
7. Did You Do It Again?
8. We’ll Make-Up Your Mind
9. Funeral Fist
10. Levitation

Lydia Laska AlbumArt PR


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Plenty PR2

It might have taken PLENTY three decades, including a long period of dormancy,  to release a new album,  but there is absolutely  no doubting that PLENTY’s pedigree promises an album well-worth the wait.

Formed in 1986 from the remnants of the eccentric Liverpool-based Post-Punk ensemble A BETTER MOUSETRAP and the Art Rockers from Warrington, AFTER THE STRANGER, PLENTY would be the immediate predecessor to Tim Bowness’ NO-MAN band.  With a sound that alternated between electro-pop anthems, poignant ballads and ambient experiments,  and with a distinct nod towards contemporary artists such as THE BLUE NILE and PREFAB SPROUT,  PLENTY found themselves positioned alongside icons such as DAVID BOWIE and PETER GABRIEL.

Three cassette releases appeared  between 1987 and ’88, along with two live appearances the following year, as well as the  obligatory lineup changes,  until PLENTY called a temporary halt to proceedings in 1990, when band members found themselves involved with other projects, either musically or in their personal lives.   It was a hiatus that was to last until 2016, when, between the spring of that year, and the summer of 2017,  PLENTY’s most enduring lineup of Tim Bowness on vocals, Brian Hulse on guitars and keyboards, and David K Jones on bass, got together once more to re-record the band’s 1980 catalogue of 16 songs, along with one completely new one,  in order to complete “It Could Be Home”  – the album they had hoped to release three decades earlier.

Plenty PR3

Remaining faithful to both the spirit of the original recordings, and the era in which they were written, the band re-wrote some of the lyrics and streamlined some of the song arrangements in order to finally produce “It Could Be Home”.  It is an album that showcases the origins of  the styles that were subsequently to become the trademarks of Bowness and NO-MAN.   Significantly, it also reveals a variety of shades to Bowness’ singing, as Jones’s powerful bass playing and Hulse’s inventive guitar parts and pulsating electronics,  push his vocals into territories he has rarely explored since the 1980s.

Mixed and instrumentally augmented by Norwegian producer Jacob Holm-Lupo (WHITE WILLOW, THE OPIUM CARTEL), and mastered  by THE PINEAPPLE THIEF’S Steve Kitch, the album also features contributions from former PLENTY guitarist Michael Bearpark, pianist Peter Chilvers (BRIAN ENO, KARL HYDE) and NO-MAN violinist Steve Bingham.

“It Could Be Home”  is set to be released on Karisma Records in CD, Digital, LP and Limited Edition Blue Vinyl  formats on the 27th April and the track “Every Stranger’s Voice” can be heard below and at

With artwork by Carl Glover,  tracklising on “It Could Be Home” is as follows:

  1. As Tears Go By (Rolling Stones cover)
  2. Hide
  3. Never Needing
  4. Broken Nights
  5. Foolish Waking
  6. Strange Gods
  7. Every Stranger’s Voice
  8. Climb
  9. The Good Man
  10. It could be Home

Plenty AlbumArtPR

In an album that could be described as a re-discovered gem of the Art Pop genre, the cover of THE ROLLING STONES’ “As Tears Go By” is given a radical synth-heavy overhaul, “Hide” and “Climb” possess  a driving Post-Punk energy, while pieces like “Foolish Waking” and “Strange Gods” anticipate the timeless atmospheric melancholy of Bowness’ music and the direction which it is taking.  “The Good Man”,  the band’s first new song in 27 years,  provides a seamless link between PLENTY’s past and its present.

“It Could Be Home” is now available to pre-order in CD and Vinyl versions from the following (digital pre-order will be available soon):

Blue vinyl:
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More information about PLENTY can be found on the band’s facebook page at

Plenty PR1

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