Fancy a few electronic beats and a vibraphone on a Wednesday night? Sure. How about some dulcet tones from a young Norwegian to go with that? Why not!
That's what was on offer at The Library last night from Vidar Norheim: a young musician touring to support the (upcoming) release of his first solo LP. Vidar definitely has his own sound, but it's reminiscent of the echoing, warm electronic beats of James Blake crossed with happier, more playful vocals of Peter Bjorn and John.
If you are old enough to remember the classic TV ads, you'll know what I mean if I say: the atmosphere he creates is like a squishy Softmint world. His lyrics provide the crispy shell, but the sparse notes and resonating beats envelope you in a pale blue bubble, all cushioned and putty-like.
Vidar didn't play many songs, but there were enough to show something special. He opened with 'Crystallised', a well-developed track, which you can (and should) watch online and which was no less clean and precise live. Watching him manipulate his four beaters, bringing them together and spreading them apart to strike different chords on his vibraphone, was fascinating
A little highlight was a tribute he'd written to his old phone number. 'It sounds a bit trivial' he said, but it was about his parents' landline – the only phone number which he could remember by heart – and which they had disconnected and which he could no longer dial.
Finally, he ended on the title track from his upcoming EP, Blind Carbon Copy. It's got a more pop-y vibe that 'Crystallised' with wrenching lyrics like, 'a worn out copy of a borrowed smile'. I cannot stop listening to this track on SoundCloud. It's a real standout.
Support came the contrasting Crandle. It's hard to pinpoint the genre of a band that plays a cover of Leonard Cohen's 'I'm Your Man', then follows it a song or two later with a soulful rendition of Cher's 'Believe'. Baffling is an understatement. They had some interesting songs of their own though and their singer has a powerful and enchanting voice.
Vidar Norheim made it worth the mid-week trip down into The Library's little pink-lit cellar though. It was a little gig and a short set, but it felt you were at start of something big.
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