Konradsen, the duo of vocalist and pianist Jenny Marie Sabel and multi-instrumentalist Eirik Vildgren, trace their roots to the far north of Norway, where the black night of winter is backlit by the neon glow of the Northern Lights. It’s a fitting metaphor for the music the pair crafts – tradition meets innovation, and the natural world expressing its astral filament.
Inspired by the traditional songs and hymns Sabel sang with her family as a child, and the modern pop music she and Vildgren collectively admire—the work of Bon Iver, Sufjan Stevens, Frank Ocean and composer Christophe Chassol, among others—debut album Saints and Sebastian Stories weaves Sabel’s soulful and transportive vocals with field recordings and samples of ambient sounds. These voices of past and present dance over minimalist piano, atmospheric electronics, programmed beats and organic horns, forming a delicate sonic narrative centered on family and community that reflects the arc of their musical journey.
AJIMAL serves as the creative outlet for Fran O’Hanlon, a doctor by day, who acquired the project’s name in the aftermath of being caught up in Haiti’s 2010 earthquake crisis. Whilst working as a field medic as part of his medical degree, he found himself in the presence of an infamous guest preacher and former voodoo priest, from whom he would later derive his moniker. Following this experience, O’Hanlon went on to release his 2015 AJIMAL debut with CHIILDHOOD, recorded and released as he was qualifying to be a doctor.
Through AJIMAL, O’Hanlon often processes the thoughts and emotions caused by real-world experiences and events. He explains the origins behind his latest track;
“I wrote ANIMALS after the Charlie Hebdo shootings took place in Paris, when there were a wave of supposedly ‘retailatory’ xenophobic attacks on ordinary people across Europe. I think it follows a pattern of fear which manifests as hatred and violence. With this song, Guy [Massey] and I particularly wanted to capture something really quite dark; I felt angry when I wrote it - there was an element of despair at the way we struggle to escape that inherent violence in us and the way we treat people whose circumstances and lives we don’t understand. I wanted to contrast these massive, beautiful orchestral elements with disturbing, unsettling elements… metallic scraped and distorted noises, really low frequency, pit-of-your-stomach sort of lows...for it to really pull you in when you listen to it.”
Honeyglaze is the ungodly fusion of 3 humans into a clamouring superorganism. It eats only fish, and demands undistracted and constant worship. FFO Power Rangers, Salvador Dalí