There’s something in the Scandinavian air that’s producing some pretty special music. This time around, it’s Divest, a Norwegian indie pop band that are premiering their new album ‘Time Well Spent’ on Backseat Mafia. This is as far as you can get from a bleak Nordic winter: it’s bright, sparkling summery pop that canters forth in a jangling trot.
There are certain echoes that recall French band Phoenix: that fresh effervescent sound with celestial choruses and an air of romanticism and optimism.
Strings provide an atmospheric luster and the jangling guitars have riffs that are mountain high.
‘Coming Around’, an earlier single and opening track, is a prime example – crystal clear production and melodies that soar with gorgeous vocal harmonies. ‘Do You Wanna’ adds shimmering synths to the mix, creating a bubbling pop perfection.
Another single ‘Who You Are’ is a high-stepping funky track – this is a band that can create epic, cinematic dance tracks that are layered and memorable.
Pop summits are reached with ‘Better Ways’ with its acoustic spine and rippling riffs and hopelessly romantic lyrics.
Ultimately, ‘Time Well Spent’ is pure and simply unadulterated pop: it’s fun, its quirky and packed full of melodic songs that can’t help but make you smile.
Divest is in a sense a reboot from an older version. As guitarist Hans Ole Sponberg Hansen explains:
We’ve been a band for 10 years now, and during that time we’ve been doing a lot of stuff, but mostly we’ve been recording music and then thrashing it afterwards. In 2019 we had a meeting in a dark corner of a pub and decided to quit playing. It was the worst! The week after we had a new meeting and decided to just change our band name and to stop overthinking so much. Since then our creative output has been so joyful and effortless. So even though we’ve been doing this for so long, our debut album Time Well Spent is just the beginning.
You can indeed detect a freshness and an unbridled enthusiasm in the album.
You can get the album from 25 September here.
Feature Photograph: Johnny Jaswe Hyunh