hiawata! "Animal"

hiawata! "Animal"
Let's face it, if Norway has a reputation in music it's for their burning black metal scene, which has more stories attached to it than just about any place. Recent times has seen the rise of electronic music, thanks to Smalltown Supersound and the Sunkissed club night, but there really is a lot more to the country than just corpse paint and cosmic disco.

This week I'll be in Oslo, Norway for the tenth annual Øya Festival, covering the event on my blog, which you can find at Øya.Exclaim.ca. In addition, I've decided to feature up-and-coming Norwegian artists playing the festival in this here column that show there's more going on than most people think.

There's something about lo-fi romantics hiawata! that make me think of Comet Gain. There's the scrappy production quality, the sweet yet biting affection within their lyrics and that sense of making b-line to the dance floor of your cooler-than-thou indie club night.

The fact that they're from Oslo is pretty surprising, since the music reeks of mid'90s underground Britannia, but perhaps even more of a surprise is how they rip flaming, J Mascis-sized solos towards the end of their songs. That and they have a song called "Dylan MacKay" - nice.

Taken from their Blacks On Blondes EP, "Animal" is a sweet jangling pop tune that sounds straight outta the Sarah Records catalog. Buoyant and high-speed, it appears to be a rather carefree, jovial number, but the threatening lyrics of "Gonna make you regret everything that you said, because I love her like an animal" give it more depth, eschewing the regular sunny spirit or whiny lovelorn poetry bands often resort to in such a style.