Inger Nordvik is a classically trained musician who, like so many others, isn’t tied to just what she was taught. Whilst studying classical singing at the Barratt Due Institute in Oslo she also developed an interest in folk, pop and jazz. With pinpoint timing she released her début album Time in February 2020, which completely wiped out most plans for touring her work. Whilst this may have derailed many artists Inger, isolated in a small cabin by the sea in Northern Norway, used it as an opportunity to work on new material drawing inspiration from her surroundings. A brief relaxation of rules later in the year did give her the chance to play some live shows and meet up with musicians from the Norwegian jazz and pop scenes to work towards completing an album which draws on those influences. As well as standard instruments: piano, bass, percussion and guitar Inger brought in a string trio and a brass ensemble to round off the sound.
Inger has a delicate voice, high pitched, and sings in accented English that sounds very good. It has an ethereal feel making it easy to imagine wide open spaces that suits the liminal aspects of the album. The opening track ‘Denial’ brings all the aspects together; a gentle song with delicately picked guitar and subtle strings backing Inger’s voice. Second track ‘Echo’ has a jazz club feel to it with the bass adding depth to the piano. This is a song about reflection, looking back at the person you were and how you change over time.
Title track ‘Hibernation’ again uses strings in a very understated way to give a sense of stillness. All is still and quiet but then the song majors on piano and that delicate vocal arrangement. Inger’s voice is certainly something special. The tempo of the nine tracks is very similar that doesn’t mean it amorphous. Each song has its own feel whilst retaining an overall sense of togetherness. Within the lyrics this is an album about relationships, where there’s uncertainty of the future and where things are going that probably does represent the spirit of the time it was written. The relationships are necessarily happy either with Nordic Noir overtones of controlling behaviour that needs to be overcome and broken from.
I found Hibernation to be an impressive album, very easy to lose myself in and full of music that wraps around.
Hibernation is out 10th February, available through most platforms. There will also be a London live launch at St Pancras Old Church on March 3rd. Tickets are available through the artist’s website or via Dice.
Artist’s website: https://www.ingernordvik.com/
‘Echo’ – official video:
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