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Norwegian character


The White Birch, Mira Craig and Minor Majority give us three very different approaches to the Norwegian music year 2006, showing in each way that it pays to keep on its special features instead of trying to guess what people want.

Low-pitched whisper

"Do you want / Your silent heart to show," sings Ola Fløttum in the oslo band The White Birch, and with her fourth album since the low-profile debut Self-portrayals (1996) shows the group how frugality is a virtue – also in music. Come Up For Air (Racing Junior / Sonet 2006) is a low-key record, characterized by whispering song, spartan instrumentation and slightly shimmering melodies. The album is released in Europe by German Glitterhouse Records, and The White Birch should have every opportunity to attract a devoted audience on a European basis.

The White Birch started as a noisier rock band in the aftermath of the grunge and hardcore explosion of the 1990s. The slow-slow sub-genre "slowcore" was long a natural reference, characterized as it was by syrupy melodies, vague mumble songs and explosive guitar riffs. The band has also taken its name from an album by the leading American slowcore band Codeine. Now, The White Birch, on the other hand, is more akin to the atmospheric moods of Icelandic Sigur Rós and Coldplay's magnificent melancholy, without feeling like plagiarism or aftertaste.

The change of style for The White Birch was probably taken when Ola Fløttum released the solo album These Days Are Hard To Ignore (Racing Junior 2001). . .

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