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GAFFA, 25/6 2010. 5/6

Bedrägligt vackert och beroendeframkallande.

Det är rätt häftigt att lyssna till Jesper Norda. Med den mörka rösten, nästan obehagligt lugn i förhållande till vad den sjunger. Det ensamma pianokompet som ger den här bedrägligt vackra fonden; redo att krackelera när som helst. Tonskiftningar som det känns kan visa genvägar till parallella verkligheter, om man inte redan är där. Om det är för att han också arbetar med bildkonst som han ofta lyckas få det där dubbelbottnade in i musiken vet jag inte, det jag vet är att det är bitvis enastående charmant, som en stramare Nick Cave eller John Cale vid pianot. Skivan är en samling av tre EP:s som kom ut mellan 2008-2009, vilket också gör att både sound och inriktning ändrar sig ett par gånger. Låtarna från EP:n Little Ones ligger först och ger också en utmärkt ingång till det övriga. Det är också dessa låtar som är mest intressanta. Märker att det är de som jag återkommer till igen och igen. Men även om det per definition blir lite ojämnt vill jag höra allt igen. Och mer. Igen.

 

 

JOYZINE, 12/7 2010. 4/5

Tonsättaren som halvvägs genom sin utbildning hittade ett nytt kall hoppade av och istället fullgjorde studier vid konsthögskolan. Ni hör själva hur arty det låter. Hur märkvärdigt man skulle kunna förvänta sig att Jesper Norda skulle kunna låta.

Och så är det inte alls på det viset det ligger till. Så underbart befriande att ha fel och få sina förutfattade meningar uppkörda så långt upp i röven det bara går. Musikern Jesper Norda som här samlar tre separata epsläpp, remastrade på ett och samma album, är så långt ifrån en rödvinspimplande baskerfjant man bara han komma. Han är en djupsinnig, rättfram och emotionell sångare som kan det där med att förföra.

Med sin djupa röst och uppriktigt konstnärliga texter tonsatta med ömsom stillsamt ömsom hotfullt piano är förtrollande. Det är tungt, men skört och vackert på en och samma gång. Jesper Norda sjunger med en hel palett av känslor i sina stämband och växlar mellan nyanserna utan att karaktären på rösten förändras det minsta. April Archives Collection No.1 är hänförande på ett vackert vis.

Då kan jag leva med att det, förmodligen helt omedvetet, finns stråk av Vem tänder stjärnorna? i A glance of the sun, a word of trust och att Jesper Norda inte direkt är killen som varierar sig. Hans röst förtrollar i de här balladerna och det räcker gott.

 

 

MEADOW MUSIC 3/9 2010
Even if Jesper Norda has named his latest album “April Archives Collection No 1″ I feel that it was perfect for me to get into his music now, in the beginning of the autumn. Beutiful, safe, a little lonely, disquieting, calm but yet dramatic.

The first track “Tomorrow You’ll Be Forgiven…” is magic to me. A Satie-sounding minimalistic piano figure, a simple, but beautiful song melody, Jesper’s dark, low-voiced vocals and “…but tomorrow you will have your teeth knocked out” which feels just like a hit right in the solarpexus, in the middle of the warm safe ambience.

“April Archives Collection No 1″ is a compilation of three of Jesper Norda’s earlier EP:s, 12 songs with only Jesper and his piano and sometimes a simple drum machine. No excesses, as simple as possible, but it never gets uninteresting. The melodies are not revolutionizing but set inside my head, both from the vocals and the piano figures. I hear David Sylvain, Leonard Cohen, Roger Waters in different contexts, but in the end his own unique character.

 

 

IT´S A TRAP 30/6 2008
It's the quiet ones you gotta worry about. The louder, more blustery the threat, the less likely they'll follow through. At least that's my experience. Jesper Norda bristles with white-hot violence in this ballad and I don't doubt for a minute that he'll make good on it. In the same way that Tindersticks brings the darkness to their version of soul music, Norda does the same with his restrained piano ballads and I'm way into it. His deep voice seethes with darkness and brings danger to every line. Even the title track from his "Little ones" EP (free download here) is unnerving, despite the far tamer subject matter. Proof positive once again that less is more. Always. To quote Foetus: say what you mean and say it mean.

 

 

IT´S A TRAP 26/2 2009
In case you missed the news that Jesper Norda has a new EP for free download, here's a chance to make up for it. As with his previous EP, the sound is pure piano and voice, soaked in darkness and hung out to dry. Actually, the minor key gloom and doom is just a red herring, "We have the guts" is a love ballad, a devotional epic. In a way. So much of the lyrics pertain to the dull mundane realities of dead-end day-to-day life, but the delivery is what gives it power and the conclusion is pure beauty. Jesper's voice is deep and strong, but it also aches when it strives for the higher notes and I don't doubt for a second that every word is true. And the dynamics? Intense. There's no need to sing out the title, it's implied with the final breath.

 

 

FLAVORPILL.COM, New york-edition
Piano man holds the key to unpretentious art
Low-voiced Swedish musician Jesper Norda brings highbrow poetics to the grime and grandeur of Stockholm's bohemian underbelly.
His reference points are surprisingly un-arty. On his two solo EPs, Norda mimics the deep-throated rasp of the Magnetic Fields' Stephin Merritt, while also evoking a minimalist version of the National or a more somber Jens Lekman.
It's the outgrowth of larger endeavors. In addition to his work with Swedish pop outfit If There Is Something, Norda's output includes abstract audio art, avant-garde writing projects, and a series of poems and literary experiments that act as loose supplements to his songs.
The music is yours for free. Operating in a truly egalitarian spirit, Norda has made both his Little Ones and We Have the Guts EPs (not to mention a series of B-sides) available for free download.
Download the We Have the Guts and Little Ones EPs, the more abstract Radio for Beginners, and If There Is Something's dance floor-destroying Put Your Jacket On, then explore the full range of Norda's art.

 

 

http://southcoasting.blogspot.se/2009/03/jesper-norda-free-things-3.html
Jesper Norda is a conceptual artist living and working in Göteborg in Sweden. He is also in the electro-rock band If there is something, whose album can be downloaded for free from the 23 Seconds website.

However, for me his best work has been the extraordinary cycle of songs that have made up his two recent collections We Have The Guts and Little Ones. Primarily just Jesper's piano and vocals, this is no Elton John. The two self-released EPs are full of some extrordinarily honest compositions, with some beautiful light piano work underlying a dark resonant vocal style that reminds me of Ian Curtis, or a somewhat warmer Tom Waits at times. The songs are primarily about relationships, but from the point of view of maturity, not innocence or lust, which gives them a rather rare quality. Composition seems to happen mainly free-style, sitting at the piano, which gives the song a crystalline and directive quality.

There are great tracks throughout, but for me the two stand-outs are the title song from We Have The Guts, and Tomorrow you'll be forgiven... from Little Ones. These are songs you absolutely have to hear. There's also an excellent cover of a Telepopmusik song (Dance Me) which stretches the simple disco music into a different place.

 

 

 

VÄRMLANDS FOLKBLAD 28/5 2010. 3/5
SÅNG OCH PIANO Jesper Norda ägnar sig åt bade konst och musik, har en djup sångröst med samma naturliga drama som Tindersticks Stuart Staples, men är nog i grund och botten en obotlig romantiker.
Hans album består av tre EP som han givit under 2008 – 2009 och är imponerande konsekventa. Nordas pianospel matchar hans idéer om skönhet, dramatik och en gnutta koketteri perfekt. Slutresultatet blir minimalistiskt och grandiost i ett och samma andetag och jag kan inte tänka mig annat än att detta kommer att älskas av alla Tindertsticks- och Cohen-fans. Ni andra bör också göra ett försök.

 

 

GROOVE 2009
Key words from a quiet heart

Jesper Nordas quiet and experimental pop has not just found a place in our hearts. It has also found a place on Grooves Eurosonic CD. We asked him a few questions about the past and the future.
– The key words for year 2009 was: calm, discipline and production. I wrote and recorded some songs, which resulted in two self released EP:s: We have the guts and you know. I made one (!) show, a total success a summer evening in the garden of friends house at the countryside. I think there were about 25 people in the crowd. My main output this year was actually in the field of visual art; I did two soloexhibitions, Sandvikens konsthall in march and Kalmar konstmuseum in december.

And what about 2010?

– In the beginning of 2010 I will release April archives collection no 1, an album of collected releases and songs over the last years. I will write some new songs (there are some song in the drawer that wants to take shape ...), maybe perform live a bit more. But first: in january my 4th child is born. That tops everything.