Norways population consists of about 5 million people. Our largest city, which is also our capital is Oslo – where aproximately 640.000 people live. In the 1800s over 800.000 Norwegians emigrated to the USA. Minnesota, Dakota, Iowa and other parts of the midwest still have a strong Norwegian ancestry (just look at the Coen brothers’ “Fargo”).
The number of americans immigrating to Norway is about 7500 people. In total. But out of those 7500 we’ve gotten a few really good musicians. Both Robert Smith- Hald, whom I wrote about in this piece, and lately Robert Moses – originally from Chicago, now living in Norway.
Moses visited Norway as a part of a bicycle-camping trip. I’m guessing he didn’t realise Norway is largely mountains, and that most roads go uphill. (at least if feels that way when you ride a bike here). For some reason or another, he ended his London-residency to move to Norway, and settled down in Oslo
Robert Moses played in bands back home in Chicago, but hadn’t been active for years when he startet playing again with a bunch of Norways finest musicans.
And his new LP, Robert Moses & The Harmony Crusaders – Self Developing Country has turned into a pure gem, and is one of the best Norwegian albums released last year.
His lyrics are good, at times even very strong. The melodies grabs hold of you, and the musicians are some of the best musicians you can find around these (or any) parts.
Freddy Holm plays anything that has strings attached, Ketil Kielland Lund takes care of the keys, accordion and the trumpet, Terje Støldal on bass and Glenn-Vidar Solheim on drums makes sure the rythm section is as tight as they come. Guest singer on a few of the tracks is Lucky Lips-vocalist Malin Pettersen.
And off course we have Rober Moses’ voice. Which is the most important instrument on this album. His countryvibrato is nothing short of haunting. And when he combines it with Malin Pettersens voice, magic happens. It’s hypnotical in all it’s intensity. It brings out emotions in anyone who takes time to listen, and I think you should give this a listen…
«There’s A Game We Play», «Take A Look At My Heart, Today», «I’ll Cross The Line» and the majestic «When It’s Done» are a few of my favourites on this album, which takes you on a roller-coaster ride between dark and light, hot and cold and just tears at your soul to be allowed in on the inside. The songwriting is strong, the melodies won’t let you rest until you let them in – and the album is perfect for both dark and light days, depending on your mood.
The album was recently nominated in the Alt. Country Album category for the Independent Music Awards in the US.