If like me, your knowledge of Norway has mainly been acquired from dark and gritty Nordic Noir television then you'll be delighted to know that Louien proves that there's also delicate and beautiful music to be found there amongst the multi episode dramas about serial killers.
Louien is the stage name of songwriter Live Miranda Solberg who's also part of the Norwegian Americana group Silver Lining and 'None Of My Words' is her debut solo album. The album is dominated by Live's striking vocals and melodies contained in each track accompanied by subtle and accomplished guitar and instrumentation as required to project these beautiful songs of human emotions.
The unfortunate death of her father was the starter spark for this album and the track 'Demo No.1' which Live first shared on her Soundcloud page two years ago was the start of this album “... I knew when I wrote it that I'd struck a chord within myself, that I'd finally written something completely honest.” whilst she says the meaning behind the song is abstract, it sets an emotional theme “This is my grief, it's my time ... This is when I choose to live or die ... The colours of your soul bleeding into mine.” A version of 'Heart and Mind Alike' also appears as the title track of Silver Lining's album, Live says "that the track is dedicated to the memory of her father." The song is a reminder that grief is not something you can escape from but have to adapt your life to include and that there is a beauty in that.
The feelings encountered during grieving: hopelessness, isolation and depression are explored during the album, but there's also an introspection which results in love and hope in these songs. 'The Fool' talks about the realisation that one should be true to oneself to find true happiness in a relationship, and 'Endless Love' is as the title implies a love song inspired by meeting the right person, “All of me loves all of him, and he will be my endless love.”
Though the inspiration for the album was the grief suffered at the passing of a loved one, Live Miranda Solberg has created an album of uplifting beauty and for that I say the one word of Norwegian I have learnt through watching those hours of Nordic Noir “Takk”.