In a new Norwegian book “Da musikken stilnet” (When music became silent), author Arvid Skancke-Knutsen interviewed more than 60 actors, from all genres of Norwegian music life, among them singer/songwriter Sondre Lerche. Read more about the book and the latest album Patient, music by the Norwegian singer/songwriter.
The book was written between March and November 2020, during what the Norwegian Government called “the strongest and most intrusive measures we have had in Norway in peacetime.” The book is about the Norwegian music industry – and how everyone who works in it was affected by the consequences of the corona pandemic.
For nearly two decades, Los Angeles-based Norwegian singer/songwriter Sondre Lerche has established a consistent knack for an ear-catching and eclectic blend of jazz-influenced indie pop, married effusively to thoughtful, intriguing lyrics.
Skancke-Knutsen has appropriately dedicated a whole chapter in When Music Became Silent where Lerche tells from his last summer tour, where he did pretty much everything on his own. Loading up a car with a suitcase, guitar, some albums and merchandise may sound like a familiar journey to musicians at the start of their careers. But for a musician of 20 years to embark on a tour like that is unique, to say the least.
The book is not a funeral speech for the Norwegian music industry. On the contrary: it is intended as a tribute to all the creative souls who have stood up in a new and difficult everyday life, and who have made the best of the situation.
About his latest release Patient, Lerche says, “As much as I continue being inspired by the great American songwriters of the jazz age, my harmonic DNA feels Brazilian more than anything. There are so many phenomenal Brazilian songwriters, from Jobim to Tropicália and beyond”. He is referring to the movement that developed under the militant dictatorship of the late 60s. “I’ve always felt that at least half my songs are really just Brazilian pop songs underneath it all. And I’m so happy whenever I hear those harmonies in contemporary music, whether it’s Tyler, The Creator or Dirty Projectors.”
“It’s definitely more challenging to keep a record alive when you can’t tour the world,” he adds. “I think one of the advantages of the streaming era is that you can be a bit more spontaneous, expand on things and continue to tell the story of the record here and now. I’m always looking for ways to share it. This is a special record for me, I want to keep expanding on it, and to share anything that can soothe or help people in this strange point in time that we all find ourselves in.”
Lerche has also published an essay collection and a children’s book this year, as well as Patient, which is an extremely solid studio album, and perhaps this year’s finest and most ambitious pop composition “Why Would I Let You Go”. It is tempting to nominate Sondre Lerche as the most important Norwegian artist in 2020.
“When the music became silent” contains personal and strong lyrics from Sondre Lerche, as well as several other performers. The book is in Norwegian only, but is a book for everyone who works in the Norwegian music industry – and for everyone who loves Norwegian music.
Patient Music by Norwegian Singer/Songwriter, written by Tor Kjolberg