Tag Archives: Norway

Drunk Tank Pink Sessions – Christoffer Øien New Release Out September 4

1 Sep


When we last left Christoffer Øien a few years ago, he was coming off the heels of his successful debut Monster, which the Music Court lauded as “expansive folk; it mixes the style of some of Joe Purdy’s slower, lugubrious pieces with a mystical Radiohead flavor.” So, when I received a note from Øien that his new album would be out in September (tomorrow!), I got excited. Øien’s acoustic creations are keen and pastoral; true bucolic masterpieces from the land of fjords and trolls.

With the new album comes the continuation of Øien’s brand of mountain folk, a darker brand of music that is led by deep acoustic guitar tones and Øien’s smooth, quivering vocals. The music, while melancholy, has a unique ghost-like haunt to it; the riffs and Øien’s voice stays with you and not long after listening you find yourself humming the melody to disturb the silence. That’s staying power.

“Drunk Tank Blues,” the quasi-title track features all of the qualities about Øien that entice listeners. It is a slow-moving piece that features a crisp acoustic and dulcet violin. The song, which features a minimalistic almost existential video, matches the lugubriousness of the video, a smooth melody about drunk blues. The song moves slowly, accentuating each verse and string fill with skill.

Another song you should check out from the album is “Future Sounds.” A lighter track, with a riff higher on the fret board, Øien advises the listener about a future that does not look so bright, unless people can “find it in your heart to put a smile upon a stranger’s face … and find love in so many ways.” His vocal is particularly strong on this track, particularly emphasizing his best vocal quality – his ability to reverberate his notes. The strongest part of the song is its chorus, which builds with continuing harmonies and becomes like wonderful melodic message.

Check out his website, Facebook for more information.

The Wizard of Norway – Christoffer Øien

20 Feb

Christoffer Øien

What kind of music can you expect from a 25-year-old singer/songwriter from a small fishing village in Norway? Did you guess enchanting folk with a hint of haunting strings laid over an enigmatic vocal? You did? Wow, good guess!

Christoffer Øien is a true find, and in a burgeoning musical world, he represents a perspicacious musician with tremendous ability that should be recognized by a global audience. Øien’s music is expansive folk; it mixes the style of some of Joe Purdy’s slower, lugubrious pieces with a mystical Radiohead flavor. The sound is bewitching, and one wants to continue listening to the wizard of Norway.

Let’s take a listen to two songs; the first a disturbing lullaby called “Sandman.”

The song is, well, creepy. It’s creepy in a good way. Øien clearly wants to elicit the feeling of an unsettling lullaby. Øien combines drawn out strings with light keys and acoustic guitar. The music culminates in a beautiful combination of strings that soothe the listener. His lyric is imaginative, and he sings such distinct lines as “it feels like rain, tastes like wine” and “it sounds like pain, but it’s all in my mind” Eerie and oddly enticing.

“The Wizard” begins with a plucked acoustic guitar and transitions to Øien’s unmistakable vocal. The song, like “Sandman” combines several influences, and, in some parts, almost takes the form as a gloomier early Coldplay composition. I can continue to search for Øien’s style in other musicians, but it may be wise to simply describe him as refreshingly original and tell you all to listen to more of his first album, Monster.

Check out his website, Facebook

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