Karine Polwart - Hilma Nikolaisen

Karine Polwart - Laws Of Motion.

Background - Multi-award winning songwriter and musician, theatre maker and published writer Karine Polwart - six-time winner at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, including 2018 Folk Singer of The Year - is today sharing the title track from her forthcoming album release, Laws of Motion, (due out October 19, 2018 via Hudson Records). Polwart’s seventh release, it’s the follow-up to 2017’s much-praised A Pocket of Wind Resistance, which earned Karine & co-writer Pippa Murphy a New Music Scotland Award, alongside nominations for the 2018 Scottish Album Of The Year & Radio 2 Folk Album Of The Year. Laws Of Motion - recorded alongside long-term collaborators Inge Thomson and brother Steven Polwart - will arrive amidst a 13 date UK tour, including London’s Cadogan Hall on October 17, 2018.

A Pocket Of Wind Resistance used the migratory habits of geese to crack open universally human societal & ecological issues. Across Laws of Motion Polwart continues to coalesce the familial and the familiar alongside the unsettling and the unknown, driven as ever by her gift for empathy and accessibility. Subject matter as disparate as Trump, WW2 & holocaust survivors are drawn together by the laws of the album’s title alongside the experiences of migrants and allegorical folk & children’s stories. Speaking about the broad focus of the album (which includes several co-writes with Martin Green), Polwart says; “I didn’t set out to write songs on a unified theme - they’ve just landed that way. Perhaps that’s no surprise, given the times we’re in.”

Laws of Motion is the latest in an evolving series of collaborative projects across which Polwart has combined music & storytelling with politics & environmental-societal issues. Karine wrote A Pocket Of Wind Resistance (a Songlines & BBC Radio 3 Late Junction Album Of The Year) as a musical companion to her acclaimed theatre debut Wind Resistance, now published via Faber & Faber and selected by Robert McFarlane as a Guardian Book of 2017. The production, which debuted at the Edinburgh International Festival with a residency at The Royal Lyceum Theatre, was written, musically directed and performed by Polwart, winning her the Best Music and Sound Award at the 2017 CATS. Alongside three other nominations, it also placed Polwart on the shortlist for the Best Actor ‘Scottish Oscar’ in the Sunday Herald Culture Awards. WEBSITE.

'Laws Of Motion' is clearly a thoughtfully constructed folk song, and I have to say that the lyrics alone captured my attention. Their intuitive and beautiful delivery and the gorgeous musical arrangement and performance anchors the track. Personally the soon to be released album is going to be a compulsive listen.


Hilma Nikolaisen - Election Day Blues.

Background -  Norwegian musician Hilma Nikolaisen announces her new album Mjusic, which is due out on 30 November via Fysisk Format. She shares the first single "Election Day Blues", saying; "Change isn't always for the better, everything will not always be ok. To accept and adapt is not an option when things are actually going to hell. Fortunately, there might still be time to break the vicious cycle. We can do better."

Mjusic is Nikolaisen’s follow-up to her warmly received debut Puzzler (2016). It takes its title from a childhood punk band she started together with her brother Ivar in 1987, at the tender age of five. This time Ivar Nikolaisen (Kvelertak) appears on several of her songs, along with other siblings, and so the mjusic continues.

Hilma played in several significant underground bands during her teens and early adulthood, before she had somewhat of an indie-breakthrough as bass player in her brother Emil’s internationally acclaimed shoegaze outfit Serena Maneesh (4AD). Emil also appears on Mjusic, playing drums on “Only Me” and “Light Shines”.

While Puzzler was years in the making, with songs written over a longer stretch of time, Mjusic was conceived in a more spontaneous way. This time Nikolaisen has acted more freely on her intuition and imagination throughout the process. The result is a sparkling album that builds upon her debut, but utterly refined and with more attitude and immediacy. Different styles and colors come together in Mjusic, and they’re all unmistakable Hilma. BANDCAMP.

Uncomplicated and catchy 'Election Day Blues' is an engaging and likable modern rocker. Hilma's vocals give this song some unique character, this is one of those songs where a second listen is decided upon well before the end.