Northern Lights: New Music From Norway’s Rising Stars

Norway’s next pop superstar, Synne Vo. Photo: Sondre Røe

Home to artists like Röyksopp, girl in red and a-ha, Norway boasts a rich and varied music scene despite its relatively small population of 5.4 million (for reference, London alone has 8 million residents). Norwegian language is part of the countrys cultural identity and, although the aforementioned artists write in English, many musicians choose to write in their native tongue.

Discover some of the best new Norwegian-language music of the year so far.

Ole Hartz Kjører Som En Bestemor

Think “Norwegian music” and what comes to mind? Heavy metal (that often ends up on Eurovision), glossy pop à la Sigrid or perhaps even space disco? (Space disco: an offshoot of Balearic house music, which various media outlets were raving about a few years ago as the trendy new underground sound.) However what no one outside of Norway seems to really be paying any attention to is the plethora of Norwegian country music. And what a treasure trove this is. Kjører Som En Bestemor is one such example; a bluegrass-inflected country banger sprinkled with a sugar coating of Europop. It’s nothing but good vibes steamrolling down the highway.

Synne Vo — sjå på oss nå

Norway’s answer to Katy Perry, 20-something Synne Vo is rising steadily through the ranks thanks to her catchy pop tunes. Fully in her Last Friday Night era, the infectious hooks and feel-good chorus of sjå på oss nå instantly pull you in as we share in her nostalgia for her carefree teenage years and her optimism for the future. A strong contender for Scandinavia’s song of the summer.

Zupermaria — Enda en Kveld

Scandipop songstress Zupermaria sings wistfully about coming home to the comfort of a warm embrace and someone to dry her tears. The song unspools from a static ballad into a heartbeat pulse electronic dance number. The Bergen-based artist is currently on tour and gearing up to release her 2nd album in Autumn.

UNDERGRUNN — Superhelt Steez

Hip-hop outfit UNDERGRUNN formed in Oslo in 2018 while the six members were in school. In that time, they quickly won over critics and fans alike. Their album Egoland was Norway’s most-streamed album of 2023. The new Norge Elsker Rap EP (Norway Loves Rap EP) will further cement the hype around UNDERGRUNN, particularly the slick and witty single Superhelt Steez. The EP doesn’t break any new ground but it’s clearly a release they had fun making, so worth a listen nonetheless.

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