Formats and Editions
Life, death, and a pile of 60-year-old letters provide the foundation for the new The Northern Belle album. Bats in the Attic, the band's fifth album, cements the bands status as frontrunners on the nordicana scene. Simultaneously, the new material incorporates a diverse mix of styles, from Cardigans-type pop, via southern rock, to frail indie ballads. Everything executed with the musical finesse the band is known for.
After having released two successful and well-received albums during the pandemic years, without being able to tour properly, the band members' urge to play live was intense. This drive was cultivated in the studio, where they aimed to recreate the potency of their live shows.
Bandleader and songwriter Stine Andreassen took inspiration from 379 letters sent from her grandfather, when he was at sea and stationed abroad, to her grandmother back home in northern Norway. The album title and several of the songs refer to these letters, which stayed hidden in an attic for 30 years following the grandfather's passing. Other songs on the album concern Andreassen's experience of becoming a mother for the first time - the creation of life - while others again deal with the opposite, the loss of close friends.
The Northern Belle's released their self-title debut album in 2015. The sophomore album Blinding Blue Neon (2018) was nominated for a Spellemann award (Norwegian Grammy). We Wither, We Bloom (2020) was their first international release and received praise from heavyweights such as Popmatters, American Songwriter and NPR: All Songs Considered. A cover version of Sufjan Stevens' "Chicago" from The Women in Me (2021), recorded with Darling West, Ida Jenshus, Louien, Malin Pettersen and Signe Marie Rustad, further amplified the buzz around the band, resulting in a magical performance on Lindmo, Norway's biggest TV talk show.
The Northern Belle are Stine Andreassen (vocals, guitars), Bjornar Ekse Brandseth (guitars, pedal steel), Johanne Flottorp (hardanger fiddle, harmonies), Trym Gjermundbo (drums), Ole-André Sjogren (guitars, harmonies) and Marie Tveiten (guitars, harmonies). The band obviously had a good time in the studio, which shines through in their incomparable folk, and americana-inspired pop, laden with gorgeous harmonies, pedal steel and the unique hardanger fiddle. Helping them out in the studio, were Snorre Kiil Saga (Karpe) on bass and Solveig Wang (Fieh, Nothing Personal) on keys. Marcus Forsgren produced the record, with the band as co-producers.