Norwegian streaming service WIMP has exclusively made available The Shins’ new album. So I thought I’d have a listen. I am disappointed.
Should I deepen my thoughts?
I just think it’s too much focus on the production and not so many good songs. Sounds like they’ve had comfortable chairs sitting around the studio making high-fives for every edit that they could produce to make the song better. It’s become common practise.
Or is it just the fever of mine that is shaking my foundation!?!
I just found the original sketch and lyrics for a song from the Ocean Sessions EP (2007).
Back in 2006 when I was writing for a follow-up EP to my eponymous debut album, I was thinking of doing a duet with someone. Going through different demos and songs that I had laying around I came by a recording of the song “It’s Never Gonna Be Perfect” that I had done the basic tracks for in a studio outside Bergen, Norway.
I actually helped build this studio back in the days when I was recording albums with Sissy Dogfish. We recorded the single “Win This Race” (2000) and “What Happens Next?” (2002) there.
Then, recording the EP at Ocean Sound Recordings (the original boat house studio), I thought why not include this song and get a female singer to do parts on it. Since I had already gotten my management to ask Marit Larsen’s people whether she’d sing with me on the A-side, Message, and without any luck on that (she was probably too busy or not keen) decided to think of someone else for the B-side.
FILMING FINAL MIXDOWN OF MESSAGE
In 2005 I toured with Aimee Mann on shows in the UK, Ireland and France. We got along well. She gave me some well advised “things-to-think-about” and look out for, me being signed to a major label, and she told me about the ways of being independent and how to run my own little business. Anyways, I sent an email to my management asking them to contact Aimee.
It was a good idea, they said, but decided that they had a better plan. One of the bands on the Nettwerk label called Sixpence None The Richer had a lead singer who was a big fan of my debut album and they thought she would be the perfect match for the song – so they asked her.
I knew of Leigh and her beautiful and cool voice from Sixpence’s hit-single Kiss Me and was instantly keen on working with her. She replied with “I’ll literally eat shit to do this” and from that moment on we didn’t look back. My engineer put down a rough mix of the song, sent an mp3 over the Atlantic, Leigh recorded her lead with two harmony tracks and I got it back by no time to put it in the final mix. Fantastic!
KISS ME (SHE’S ALL THAT OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO)
That was my first and, to this day, only transatlantic collaboration. I have ever since been tremendously thankful to Leigh for her help on making this song so much better and that’s why I now, after finding the original hand-written lyric, had to tell you the story behind the recording of my first duet.
The song was released digitally on the Ocean Sessions EP worldwide on April 29, 2007 through Nettwerk Music and distributed in Norway on CD through my own label Bobfloat Music and Playground Music on May 15, 2007.
Here’s the song:
You can hear the whole EP on SoundCloud. If a physical copy is what you like, send an email to Bobfloat Music and they’ll give you the details on how to go forward.
Peace and Love, and thank you LEIGH NASH!!!
I finally got one of my full-length albums on vinyl. My new record RHETORIC was released on November 4 on LP and CD, as well as the modern way of buying or listening to music… digital download and streaming. Anyways, let’s focus on the fresh smell of this black circle of beauty. From before I only got a couple 7inch singles out (Got None and Beirut) so this is the first Long Player I have put out on vinyl.
When I was a kid, my brother and I threw half of my dad’s record collection as Frisbees all over the vast fields outside my grandpa’s house and all the way down to the ocean. And they all got smashed. I remember that they wore different colors and that there were lots of them. We didn’t know what was on them. It was a lot of fun. We left the small pieces of plastic to be buried and forgotten between growing green grass and wild flowers. Later I found out that there was music on these round plastic plates that I so playfully tossed away.
I discovered another passion in life. It’s just the feel when I lay down that crooked arm, the paper sleeve…
Just like Eddie Vedder sings it in the song Spin The Black Circle from Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy. “Viva la Vinyl” – scribbled down next to the lyrics in the booklet. It was huge for me to understand that my biggest idol at the time had the same love for vinyl records as myself at a point where the CD took over the whole market and LP’s were being stopped manufactured (at least from the major labels). I kept trying to get hold of any record that I loved on vinyl. Most of them I got from record dealers selling old records. New releases on this format were few and far between, but Pearl Jam kept it real all along and that’s why I got to collect LP’s of their complete catalogue up to this day. They even put out Christmas singles on 7inches just for the fans and members of the Ten Club. I always loved them for doing that.
So when I was invited to a student’s club night in Oslo called Vin & Vinyl (Wine & Vinyl, see how similar Norwegian is to English?) to play and talk about vinyl and also do a show I had no choice but to pay tribute to the number one band of my teenage years. I covered the aforementioned song. Here’s a video clip of it:
I have sent the RHETORIC master and artwork to manufacturing. Been struggling all week with the sequencing of this album, sometimes a tough nut to crack. After exchanging views on this with my good friend Egil Olsen and my girlfriend, who’s occasionally been working as a DJ and therefor has this natural hunch about the order of songs or maybe it was that…
female intuition thing that shone threw,
(and that helped a lot.)
The album will be released on CD (Digipack) unlimited and on 12″ vinyl (180 gr) limited to 500 copies and numbered. On the digital releases there will be one extra song. The vinyl is just gonna be the good-looking fella and therefor doesn’t need that extra song. And here you have the album sleeve as designed by Egil Olsen – the singer/songwriter – not the football manager (just had to, just had to clear that).
You like that?
So about time I release another song from the album. In form of a video. You have heard this song before if you took the time to listen to the live album that I released in July this year. Frontline and Landing – the two first songs that I finished in the process of making RHETORIC (season one). And here’s the official LANDING music video.
You like that?
Hugs and Kisses,
PS! Listen to a live version of the single from Live at Ocean Sound Recordings, you can also buy it on iTunes, Amazon, etc. plus stream on Spotify and WIMP.
I’ve spent all of September recording and mixing my new album Rhetoric. Even though I have only spent about 15 days in the studio it has been in creation and in my head 24/7 all month. It’s a lot of music to come up with, consume, develop, ennoble and strengthen since I decided to play all instruments (apart from strings, Lise does that) myself and therefor is challenging to manage and overview. It’s been hectic, intensive, creative and, not to say the least, a lot of fun. My companion in the process has been the ever so great Rune Berg who, this time, has been engineering and mixing (sometimes even co-produced!, thanks for that, it wasn’t in the deal), so all in good hands.
Tonight we are putting down the final mix.
This album is my proudest moment. It feels like it’s first now, after so many years since my debut, that I have finally come back to be the playful, spontaneous and unstudied musician and artist that I so much enjoyed being in the years before signing to a major label and the whirlwind of rules and regulations that came with that. It’s been a roller coaster ride where the valleys are deep, dark and depressive, and the mountain tops, that I so much love, are reaching sky high. Luckily, for me, I enjoy both – it breeds something interesting in both ends and I have always believed in keeping it real. And reality is not toneless.
If you wanna hang with me on my journey towards my third studio album release, I am going to post updates, describe songs and show you videos from the studio sessions here on this site. Today, all fresh from today’s session, a video of Rune mixing Hold Your Hands Up High.
Cross the lake / Don’t give, just take / Over on this side it’s much nicer / Leave old habits / Come on catch the rabbits / We’re looking for toy soldiers in line / You’ve never heard screams / At least don’t know what it means / Not so many of them can be trusted / It’s a certain call if you don’t accept the call / We have won the war on both sides already
So hold on to your dreams / And I will find a meaning / While you fight the frontline
A fallen boy in a frame is nothing without a name / That’s why we keep hiding the tracks / So if someone needs a hand / Don’t forget about the plan / First look for victory then the man / There is the one and only truth that’s been given / And after that there’s a world of misguided souls / So don’t give in / You know you will win / Even if it’s in your grave you first find forgiveness
So hold on to your dreams / And I will find a meaning / While you fight the frontline
Now remember your brothers / Get them over the borders / Leave a country of mines left for the innocent / There’s nothing you can do / Now you have seen them chase their own / Just leave your hat on and run / Run
So hold on to your dreams / And I will find a meaning / While you fight the frontline
It’s strange how few cover songs I have managed to put in my shows the last 5 years. I am more and more attracted to the idea that I will always have one or two of my favorite songs in my set list and do my own interpretation of it. So far the list is very short. I can mention Detroit Rock City by KISS, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds by The Beatles, We Are The World by USA for Africa, and these I only played parts from in the middle of a Newborn-jamming situation. 1979 by Smashing Pumpkins is the only song that I played full length. These are songs I’ve done at live shows. And as far as I know I have only covered two songs on radio, one being Yesterday by The Beatles on German radio in Potsdam back in 2006 and Even Flow at some Paris radio show dating back to 2005. That’s it I think.
Well enjoy my first full length YouTube-cover song. Sadness Is A Blessing – one of my favorites this year.
So all I see around me is illusion
Built to trick us all into consumption
And the branches are hanging from the ceiling
And the trees are growing out of plastic soil
And the flowers give me no real feelings
It’s just dead empty and cold
I see people like robots on their round
In and out, in and out, it’s so sound
And the man behind the keyboard he smiles
And the girl behind the counter walks the extra miles
For the customers who bargain on the prize
And swearing, for they cannot find the right size
the good news came in yesterday. I am opening for the brilliant Lissie on her two sold out Oslo dates (March 26, 27). Fits perfectly together with the master plan I have scribbled on a napkin in my REM sleep. I will test new songs on an unsuspecting crowd. Songs for upcoming third album. The guitar and I.
As a treat (and of course as promised in the competition that was held back in Jan/Feb) I am now giving away a free download of the song There’s One Thing (right answer competition-wise, my second single from 2005) from the concert I played together with Lise, Ragnhild and Kristian at Ocean Sound Recordings last July.
Now DOWNLOAD, DOWNLOAD, DOWNLOAD. And spread the juice.
So, here I am again. Writing to reach you. Few worries today. Had a great time with my band yesterday. Played 6 new songs. Never played these songs with band before. Hell of a lot of fun. Energy boost. A kick. Like being born on new, sorta. Because it was so fresh. So pure in its form. Just loose. In and out of control and comfort zone. Meaningful. Imperfect, but oh so brilliant. The feeling. The feel. The real… deal. Looking forward to next time.
Until then. A few worries/(thoughts) below. Ha ha ha… like a laughless clown.
-r to the o to tha b
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(an old note, but somewhat relevant)
Time flies. I wonder why.
Is it because I am having fun playing around making people smile and cry, or is it as a result of boredom? Like how much fun do a man need before he will look back in hindsight and call it fun. Is my life fun because it really is, or am I just one guy easily amused by daily circumstances? And is time playing a trick on me then? Cause situation is that I experience lack of appreciation for what I have got and that I constantly have a tendency not to embrace life, as beautiful as it is.
Times like these should not be forgotten.
In a corner I will sit and rest. View the mountains mirrored in the sea and watch the seagulls take a hit on the tourists. And I will try to remember my ups – and downs. Learn from it. And appreciate it. Only then the time I have spent on myself and not on others will be worth something. At least. I don’t want to feel like I have betrayed all my principals and I don’t want to shake the foundation from which I was raised.
To care or not to care is not a question.
People will always come and knock you over. And it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It can be that it’s done with a purpose and with good intentions. Not only to wake you up from selfish thoughts, but also to make sure you take care of yourself and remember that the gifts you’ve been given can always be returned in one way or another. And it happens every day.
Care. And take care.
Through all these months I’ve wondered how did it go? How did I end up being all fucked up in my mind, on the edge of paranoia without having one good reason to be so? And how will it go? And how was it? How is it? And how many times do I have to ask myself; am I doing the right thing? And how about all the people around me…
It’s business. On different levels. All in different leagues. Divided into groups. You win – you lose. Dogs chasing cats on shitty steps up and down the pyramid. Looking for a deathbed? You’ve come to the right place. Cause if you’re not an animal born with innocent instincts, be sure somebody will aim at you from a bunker. And you won’t notice it before you’ve reached a certain level, hit in the forehead with a red colored plastic bullet and you will wake up in your own bed the next hundred years wondering how much time you wasted on bullshit. After all, it could be worth it.
Peace and love,
While I’m at it… here’s a chat and a song from back in the days.
Happy New Year to y’all! I hope you are as excited about the new year as I am. And that Christmastide have been treating you very well! For me it’s been a rollercoaster ride since I began recording new songs on the 23rd of Dec (not a very good idea) in between Christmas family parties and nights out on town wining not dining just to end up getting ill just before New Year’s Eve. But hey, I Ain’t Complaining (Status Quo album from 1988).
Fever has its upside. I dream weird dreams and the weirder dreams the more inspiration to suck from it. Try sweating liters upon liters of salty water for a night while trying to explain to your body that there’s not a chance in the world it will align with the healthy model of yourself in a parallel universe. And you twist and you turn and you sweat and you change your sports underwear twice or three times or whatever… till you wake up and feel your back ache from the torments that your heated mind caused on your innocent body. It just can’t be turned off.
Now I’m at peace with the whole of myself. I have smelled fresh air and food. And Christmas I threw out the window…
I thought I start the new year with a COMPETITION!!!
You can win music in physical formats like a CD or even on vinyl… how about that?
OR maybe I will sew you a nice Robert Post Owl Egg Cosy.
I ask you a simple question. What was the second single from my debut album?
Answer with a comment. I will announce winners early February and send you stuff after I have gotten your postal address.
And another treat after a little help from you. As some of you might already know I have a live album coming out due in late February, but I would like to give you a taster and you get to choose it. Vote your favorite song to the top in the poll and I will post a FREE MP3 of that particular song when it’s home from mastering! Tx.
I am right now at Ocean Sound Recordings mixing a “Live at Ocean Sound Recordings”-concert that I did in connection with the annual Sommerfesten on the isle of Giske, Norway this summer. The event took place in front of 80 seated people in the live room of the studio. Expect the recording to be available on CD and all digital platforms/outlets in February 2011.
Boundaries To Shake
The Way We Are
Choice Marks The Master From The Fool
There’s One Thing
Hold Your Hands Up High
A Curse That Won’t Leave (Part 1 & 2)
Try The Best You Can
Ocean & A Tear
So the conclusion is I must return to Germany very soon.
After 5 days on the road and 4 shows held I totally understand why Germany is told to be one of the more convenient countries to tour. If a tour is well-planned just like the Katzenjammer’s was, you get from one place to another without any hassle or difficulties. You just get on the tour bus, have a few beers to sleep well and with a blink of an eye you wake up in a new city, right outside the venue you will be playing the same night. Pretty damn sweet.
And then you have the audience. It’s been my first ever gigs in Germany (I only been here on a radio promo tour back in 2006) and I must say even as the opening act I was overwhelmed with applause. I decided not to have the same setlist every night and as much as possible be playing new songs. And by the response and feedback from the crowd under and after the show I am more confident than ever on my new material. Again pretty damn sweet.
I even sold out all the merchandise I brought with me on tour. So hopefully I have built an ever so small platform from which I can work myself up and onwards from in this new territory. In July/August I will visit Berlin for a few acoustic showcases. And after that… meetings with record companies. Possible sweetness.
I am sure my next album will have its physical release in Germany. So I better get home and work on it.
Next up I have a show in Paris on Monday the 31st of May.
So until then, auf wiedersehen/au revoir!