The Best Nordic Wave Albums Of 2017-Part 1.

At this time of year, the lists of the best albums of the previous year are published. This year, a list of the best new albums, best reissues, best compilations and best box sets will be published. However, the first list covers the Nordic Wave albums released during 2017. It proves that the music scene in Norway and the rest of Scandinavia is just as vibrant as in previous years.


Label: Hubro Music.

Norwegian power trio 1982 celebrated their tenth anniversary with the release of their fifth album Chromola. It’s an almost flawless album that is a genre-melting roller coaster that sometimes, takes on a liturgical sound. That is no surprise as Chromola was recorded in a church. The result was a captivating, ambitious and innovative album of multilayered, cinematic soundscapes that are full of textures, nuances and subtleties whew 1982 they continue to rewrite the musical rulebook in their quest to create groundbreaking music. This succeed in doing do on Chromola, which is a career-defining album from 1982.

A Projection-Framework.

Label: Tapete Records.

Framework was formed in 2013 and in 2015, released their critically acclaimed debut Exit. Two years later and Stockholm based A Projection returned in 2017 with Framework their much-anticipated sophomore album Framework. It’s a fusion of eighties electronica, indie rock and post punk that has been influenced Depeche Mode, New Order, Siouxsie and The Banshees, The Cult and The Cure. These influences play their part in the sound and success of Framework hook-laden where anthems sit side-by-side with beautiful ballads and eighties inspired tracks.

Anneli Drecker-Revelation For Personal Use.

Label: Rune Grammofon. 

Thirty-years after coming to prominence as the lead singer of the Norwegian band Bel Canto, Anneli Drecker released her fourth solo album Revelation For Personal Use. It’s a career defining album from Anneli Drecker that surpasses the quality of 2015s Rocks and Straws. That was never going to be easy as Rocks and Straws had set the bar high for future albums. However, the Queen of Arctic Electronica, Anneli Drecker, rose to challenge and returned with her musical Magnus Opus, Revelation For Personal Use, which features music that ranges from memorable and melodic, to anthemic to heartbreakingly beautiful.

Arve Henriksen-Towards Language.

Label: Rune Grammofon.

Pioneering Norwegian jazz trumpeter Arve Henriksen returned in 2017 with his ninth solo album Towards Language, which was described by some critics as a jazz album. However, Towards Language is much more than a jazz album, and is a genre-melting epic. Arve Henriksen and his band combined elements of ambient, avant-garde, with electronic, experimental, improv industrial music and even modern classical and free jazz. The result is a truly groundbreaking and thoroughly modern album where electronics instruments, samples and found sounds accompany Arve Henriksen’s trumpet and allow it to shine as he continues to make tomorrow’s music, today. 

Ane Brun-Leave Me Breathless.

Label: Balloon Ranger Recordings.

Ane Brun’s solo career began in 2003, and fifteen years later, she’s one of the most successful Norwegian singer-songwriters. Last year,Ane Brun, released her eighth studio album Leave Me Breathless which was an album of cover versions where she reinvents songs by Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Nick Cave, Joni Mitchell, Lucinda Williams and songs made famous by Foreigner, The Righteous Brothers and Radiohead. These songs are transformed and take on new life and meaning as Ane Brun redefines these familiar songs Leave Me Breathless which is the best album of  cover versions released during 2017.

Bjorn Mayer-Provenance

Label: ECM Records.

Ever since Manfred Eicher founded ECM Records, his label had released many solo bass albums. However, until the release of Bjorn Mayer’s Provenance, ECM Records had never released an album where the electric bass takes centre-stage. The Swedish bassist, whose now based in Switzerland, recorded Provenance at the Auditorio Stello Molo RSI in Lugano. This was the perfect place to record a Provenance, as Bjorn Mayer knew the importance of the “room.” It proved extremely responsive space and helps bring out the subtleties and nuances in Bjorn Mayer’s landmark album Provenance which proves that sometimes, less is more.

Black Moon Circle-Flowing Into The 3rd Dimension

Label: Crispin Glover Records.

In mid-2015 Trondheim-based Black Moon Circle announced their intention to release three albums of Studio Jamms. Just over two years later, they returned with the final instalment in this critically acclaimed series, Flowing Into The 3rd Dimension. It’s another ambitious, genre-melting adventure into sound with Black Moon Circle, and is their hardest rocking and the finest album of their five-year career. Flowing Into The 3rd Dimension is a reminder that the future of rock is in safe hands, thanks to groups like Black Moon Circle, with their pioneering and hard rocking brand of psychedelic space rock.

Brutter-Reveal And Rise. 

Label: Hubro Music.

Brothers Christian Wallumrød and Fredrik Wallumrød have both forged successful music careers since graduating from the Jazz Program at Trondheim Musikkonservatorium. Much of their time is spent working with other musicians. However, the brothers reunited to record Brutter’s sophomore album Reveal And Rise. Brutter manipulates an array of sounds whilst using sonic trickery and sleight of hands as they pose a series of questions and challenge musical norms? Brutter also let imagination run riot on Reveal and Rise, an album of anti-techno that is ambitious, cerebral, innovative, playful, witty and engaging.


Label: Hubro Music.

Three years after the release of Cakewalk’s critically acclaimed sophomore album Transfixed, the Norwegian supergroup returned in 2017 with their much-anticipated, third album, Ishihara. It finds musical mavericks Cakewalk at their innovative best, on what’s without doubt, their most ambitious album of carefully sculpted soundscapes. To create them, Cakewalk deploy traditional instruments, synths, plus a myriad of special effects and samples. They become part of Cakewalk’s carefully crafted musical tapestry, Ishihara. It’s a genre-sprawling, vibrant, cinematic epic from sonic explorers Cakewalk, who reach new heights on their much-anticipated third album Ishihara.

Carbon Based Lifeforms-Derelicts.

Label: Blood Music.

After a five-year wait, Göteborg-based ambient psychedelia pioneers Carbon Based Lifeforms returned with Derelicts, their carefully crafted comeback album. It featured soundscapes that veer between cerebral and ruminative while others are futuristic and otherworldly and dreamy, elegiac and ethereal. Some are dramatic and urgent, others edgy and trippy, but like the rest of are captivating cinematic. Sometimes, Carbon Based Lifeforms throw a curveball, and soundscapes head in unexpected directions, before normality is restored as they continue to take the listener on a lysergic magical mystery tour which features surprises aplenty for the unsuspecting listener.


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