Photo: Anthony Delanoix
Fjord Tours Articles / 14 Apr 2020

Uplifting Music from Norway

Music has become a great tool to lift spirits during this pandemic with people singing from balconies in various countries, and even starting impromptu jam sessions!

In fact, this is not a new phenomena, and when Milan was suffering the plague in 1576, it was reported that 300,000 people (every single inhabitant) threw open their windows and chimed in a massive chorus!

Many scientific studies identify the healing power of music and its effect on cognitive abilities, and like in 1576, music will not cure disease but it is a vital element in combating anxieties and lifting spirits. With that in mind, we have compiled a playlist of music from Norway that we feel could be appropriate for those seeking uplifting sounds.

Norwegian, like most Scandinavian, music has a reputation for melancholy, but if you look closely enough you’ll find some positive vibes as well! We’re including not just super happy music in our playlist, but also sounds that can be classified as soothing.

Røyksopp: “Eple”

This quirky track was the electronica duo Røyksopp’s first single, and they almost immediately experienced international success. “Eple” means apple, and this “bite” is fresh and tasty!

Sigrid: “Strangers”  

Pop sensation Sigrid, winner of BBC’s “Sound of 2018” award, is a purveyor of positive vibes, and we challenge anyone not to feel the beat of her smash hit “Strangers”. Meeting strangers, though, is something better left for a later time!

Todd Terje: “Inspector Norse”

When Terje released a hilarious mock documentary video to this track, it had many journalists (including The Guardians) fooled into thinking this was an actual documentary. Todd Terje delivers generally uplifting danceable sounds, perfect for hopping around to in your living room!

Aurora: “Daydreamer”

There’s something a bit magical about Aurora, and she is certainly the right artist to follow into daydreaming! Another activity that is safe to turn to, in complicated times.

Madrugada: “The Kids Are on High Street”

This song from rock veterans Madrugada is not overtly “happy go lucky” but has a an energetic, optimistic feel and the phrase “adjust to what it takes” is certainly something to take to heart.

Turntable

Lindstrøm: “Keep it up”

This track from electronic artist/DJ Hans-Peter Lindtrøm’s “Real life is no cool” album, and some escapist sounds should be just “what the doctor orders” right now. This song, with singer Christabelle, has a message to take to heart as well, “Keep it up” (your spirits, your exercise routine, whatever positive endeavour you can find!).

The National Bank: “I hear a sparrow sing”

This band is a one-off project between singer/songwriter Thomas Dybdahl and post-rock/jazz musicians from Jaga Jazzist. This is a real good “kicking back in the apartment” chill-out track.

ISÁK: “Selflessness”

Another appropriate title for these days, from an electro-pop band with Sami roots. They often mix the ancient practice of “joik” (Sami singing-style) with modern electronica, whereas this song is sung entirely in English.

Kings of Convenience: “Singing softly to me”

Everybody should be hauled up with someone who can sign softly to them, right now. If you don’t, putting this on will feel like you have someone in your apartment with you doing just that!

Bernhoft: “Don’t Give Up”

This funky soulboy from Oslo was Grammy nominated, in the R&B category, for his first album “islander”. On his second album “Humanoid” this song closes the album, and the message “keep your faith in us” is a good a sentiment as any to carry us through the day.

A good energy blow-out can be really healthy these days, and Norway has its share of high-energy sounds. We’ve picked one of these for a high-octane “pick me up”:

Kvelertak: "Rogaland"

They sing/scream in Norwegian, but it hasn’t stopped the band from getting a global following, in part from being invited to tour with metal-legends Metallica. This tribute (we think) to their region “Rogaland” is a perfect soundtrack to rock out to in your own home. Just don’t put this on at 7 am in the morning if you have neighbours!

Philharmonic orhestra
Photo: Laris Birta

INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC

Norway is well-known for the standard of its instrumentalists, be it in the jazz, classical or other genres. Naturally, you don’t need lyrics to feel uplifted by music, so here is some instrumental music to lift your spirits!

Jaga Jazzist: “Oslo Skyline”

A life-affirming tribute to our capital by eclectic jazz/post-rock group Jaga Jazzist.

Tord Gustavsen Trio: “At Home”

A situation very familiar to the most of us right now, and this jazz trio makes it appear a very pleasant and calming experience. If fact, the lyrical jazz of this trio is tailor-made for the home listening sessions.

Leif Ove Andsnes: “Grieg Lyrical Pieces No.4”

Classical pianist Leif Ove Andsnes has been lauded as “the pianist of his generation”, and his interpretation of this lively piece by Norway’s “national composer”, Edvard Grieg is a nice mood lifter.

Bergen Philharmonic: “Morgenstemning (Morning mood)” by Edvard Grieg

Talking about moods and about Grieg, one of his most famous compositions, “Morning mood” does not need lyrics to perfectly depict what the title claims it does; the sun beams reaching for you coffee mug on the breakfast table, birds chirping and a gentle wind rustling the tree-tops. It’s the perfect morning “feel-good” sound!

Be sure to check out our playlist below: