Daring solo follow-up
Guitarist and vocalist Fredrik William Olsen, from Bodø in northern Norway, has earned a reputation as a distinctive composer and lyricist with the three albums he has released together with the band Kråkesølv, one of which won a Spellemannspris (Norwegian Grammy).
Kråkesølv’s critically acclaimed eponymous album of earlier this year was described as the band’s most direct, electric and rocking release yet. In his solo project, though, Olsen has gone in an entirely different direction. His debut album, “Hver gang æ græv”, received glowing reviews in 2012. Now he is releasing his even more condensed and pared down follow-up, “Til stede”, which is even more daring and streamlined than his debut.
Most reviews mention Olsen’s lyrics, which have already earned him a Spellemannspris nomination. His trademark as a lyricist has been cultivating melancholic and somewhat mystical elements in an original manner, with a strong sense of language. “I’ve worked hard at making my lyrics less cryptic on this album,” he says. “In the past few years I’ve become more concerned with writing more clearly.”
The arrangements, too, are clearer and more austere this time around, and in addition to Olsen’s intimate vocals and guitar playing the album features only acoustic instruments: double bass, piano, drums and strings.
The strings were arranged by Petter Waldemar Nohr Unstad, Olsen’s colleague in Kråkesølv; Ivar Bowitz, frontman in Cold Mailman; and Ole-Henrik Moe, Jr, the ubiquitous violinist and composer of contemporary music.
“Til stede” was recorded at Store Studio in Bodø with technician and co-producer Hallstein Sandvin. The string arrangements were recorded at Malabar Studio in Oslo.
The album is being released both as a CD and as an LP in a limited edition with a gatefold cover and including a CD. The stunning graphic art on the release was created by artist Bernt Richardssønn Dyrstad.