Sweeping, enigmatic and grandiose – perhaps in this regard, The Fjords are not so dissimilar to their natural namesake. But delve a little deeper, and the gleaming surface becomes surprisingly sinister.
With frontman Petter Vågan at the helm, The Fjords are the Norwegian four-piece billed able to “out-sad any member of The National” (Under The Radar Magazine), serving up dark intimacies on a bed of shimmering synth and electronica.
Despite their ethereal qualities, The Fjords are entrenched in the everyday – thematically spanning love, life, loss, addiction, pollution and the industrial age (though not always in that order). “A lot of the lyrics are about being a small piece in a huge, inexplicable tapestry of events and notions,” explains primary songwriter Vågan. “Lyrically speaking, it’s largely about coming to terms with reality maybe not being what you thought it was.”
The band’s origins extend little more than a year ago, with what was Vagån’s solo dissertation at Trondheim Jazz Conservatory growing fourfold to include Oscar Grönberg (synth, vocals), Bardur Reinert Poulsen (bass, synth, vocals) and Kim Christer Hylland (drums, electronics, vocals).
Though still in their musical infancy, The Fjords have lured fans and industry alike; showcasing at Norway’s esteemed By:Larm conference, alongside appointments at Trondheim Calling, Pstereo and Sørveiv – a far stretch from the solitary sounds Vagån demoed in his humble home studio atop a hill in Trondheim. Add to that NRK P3 playlisting and a host of tastemaker tippings (including Spotify’s “Spotlight 2015” and WiMP’s “Top 100 of 2014”) and you have one of this year’s most promising debutantes.