Track: Norway’s Oliver Hohlbrugger channels the Velvets and Bowie in his über cool track ‘Velveteen’ off forthcoming album ‘Nothing’s Changed, Everything Is New’

Feature Photograph: Haaver Goa

The new single from Norwegian singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Oliver Hohlbrugger is infused with an über cool panache that just oozes a sixties, studied, Rayban-framed world.

Accompanied by an enigmatic monochrome video with only the most subtle movements, Hohlbrugger’s vocals have a deep resonance that echoes Bowie at times and Lou Reed at others over a jangling, fuzzy guitar with hints of horns in the distance. But despite the obvious genetics encoded in the music, Hohlbrugger has his own unique style and delivery that stands out and thrills.

There’s something that reminds me of his brilliant Swedish neighbours, The Sound Track of Our Lives, with their sixties-tinged swaggering style.

The lyrics are imbued with a delicious attitude and insouciance:

The sun is blue and the sky is black
The TV’s having a heart attack
Signs are all over, it’s coming undone
You always did say that this day would come
Feels like the end of the world

The result is something that canters along with swagger and a leather-jacketed late night bacchanalian indolence. A jazz fringe and recurring riff add to a thrilling sonic ride:

‘Velveteen’ is out now and available to download and stream here.

The track is off Hohlbrugger’s new album ‘Nothing’s Changed, Everything Is New’ which was recorded between an abandoned mansion in Stvanger on the west coast of Norway and urban Brooklyn, New York. Hohlbrugger says of the new work:

To me the album is about the search for something real in a world that seems increasingly numb and indifferent. A place beyond escapism, cynicism, and the illusions of modern life” explains Hohlbrugger. “The album is often seen through the lens of someone escaping, and in the futile pursuit of both everything and nothing, with the album’s focus on the moment they realise they are going in the wrong direction (metaphorically speaking). It’s also about the apathy and pain one inflicts on oneself when these realisations are ignored because the heart and soul always knows when it’s been led astray, and it can’t help itself but yearn for truth and love.

The album features contributions and performances from guest musicians including improv jazz great Kjetil Møster and indie artist Anne Lise Frøkedal, as well as boasting its own dedicated horn section. It is produced and arranged by Hohlbrugger together with drummer and producer Børge Fjordheim who also co-wrote two of the album tracks and mixed the album. It was recorded between Elektrolüd, Stavanger and The Creamery Studio, New York.

‘Nothing’s Changed Everything Is New’ is released digitally and on vinyl on 19 April 2024 via REVIR / Moon Flower Music.

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