Stubb delivers on the promise of Gangar’s 2022 EP, Tre Danser, which cemented Gangar’s status as one of Norway’s most original new acts, capturing the wild, youthful, cannonball energy of their live shows in the studio for the first time.
Stubb’s title is taken from their former band name: Gangarstubbgutta (“The boys who play short dance tunes” in Norwegian), and is the culmination of several years of hard and detailed work. The album collects the repertoire the group has researched and honed in live performances all over Europe, with guest appearances from top performers and close friends in the Norwegian folk music scene. Stubb was recorded at Athletic Sound in Halden, and was recorded, produced and mixed by Dag Erik Johansen. Mastered by Karl Klaseie at Øra Mastering in Trondheim.
Frontman and fiddler Mattias Thedens finds the melodies in old archival recordings — primarily at the National Library of Norway in Oslo, and the band members arrange them together. “It has been an exciting process for us to move these songs from the stage to the studio,” says Thedens. “We’re mainly a live band, so it definitely was a different thought process. I think we have solved that dilemma in a good way, where we have kept the energy we have on stage, while adding an attention to detail the we often have to sacrifice on stage for the sake of the show.”
On Stubb, there are melodies from all around Norway, with tunes from Bygland, Tovdal, Møre and Romsdal, Rindalen, Telemark and Røros. The album’s eleven songs encompass styles as diverse as folk metal in “Synnjavinden” and “Dorisk Reinlender to alternative in “Skrebua”, and tongue-in-cheek cowbell-driven dad-rock with “Hennar Valborg” and “Slarkjen”.
The album’s first single, “Sukkeri er søtt” (“Sugar is Sweet”) features Synnøve Brøndbo Plassen, one of Norway’s most promising young folk singers. Together they breathe new life into an old folk song, learned from a recording from Aslak Brekke (1901 – 1978) from Vinje in Telemark, combined with a Reinlender learned from a recording from Ole “Ola” Løseth from Rindalen (1897 -1978).
Gangar make the oldest Norwegian music fun and accessible to a new audiences, with craft, care, and wit — without ever compromising the tradition. Get ready to dance!