Knut Anders Sørum and his new solo album. Making the leap from soul to pop.
We have seen him in the Eurovision Song Contest where he won the Norwegian final in 2004, and this autumn he is featured on the Stjernekamp [Battle of the Stars] TV show. In the 12 intervening years he has been singing gospel and soul, has released two solo albums, played a host of concerts and appeared on popular TV shows. Now Knut Anders Sørum has a new release, which he has called “Audiens 1:1” [Audience 1:1].
This time Knut Anders has chosen new sparring partners: Kjetil Bjerkestrand and Erik Hillestad, two Norwegian music industry doyens. They are cooperating on producing the new record, while Bjerkestrand is also responsible for the arrangements and programming, in addition to playing and tweaking numerous old analogue synths.
Knut Anders has a formidable voice. And he writes good songs. He also sings soul in the Toten [rural district of Norway] dialect. In 2010 he released a highly personal album covering songs by Alf Prøysen, another Norwegian artist who performed in the Toten dialect. Two years later he released the album “Ting flyt”
[Things float], a critically-praised soul album sung in Norwegian. Now he has dared to take a new leap into more exploratory pop music with a touch of soul, both in his soaring vocals and as a source of inspiration for his melodic motifs. And he continues to sing in the Toten dialect.
Sørum believes that it is possible to raise important issues through the pop-music format. This is one of the reasons why he continues to sing in his native language, the language closest to his heart and the language that reaches his audience unfiltered. His lyrics deal with close relationships and the risk and uncertainty in encounters and situations where much is at stake. As the title suggests, several of the lyrics reveal Knut Anders’ confrontation with himself.
In addition to Kjetil Bjerkestrand on various keyboards, the album features Johnny Sjo on bass, Torstein Lofthus on drums and Kjell Harald Litangen on guitar. On the track “Stirrer rætt fram” [Staring straight ahead] you will also hear Sofie Tollefsbøl in a vocal duet with Knut Anders. The production, released on the KKV label, has been recorded and mixed by Martin Abrahamsen.