Norwegian troubadour Torgeir Waldemar will release his new album Love through Jansen Records on 17th January. Produced by Anders Møller and Torgeir Waldemar and recorded at Subsonic Society Studios, Oslo, Love follows the loud, fuzz-drenched No Offending Borders (2017) and his melancholic debut Torgeir Waldemar (2014).
The first track taken from the album is “Leaf in the Wind’, which Torgeir describes as “the sum of what I had in mind for this record. A reminder to us all that, even if the world has become smaller in the past few decades, we feel even smaller. We depend on the big movements around the globe, and it affects our lives. And the most important thing to remember in all of that is to be nice to each other, and take care of who we are and who we have close to us.”
Inspired by Brian Wilson’s ‘Love and Mercy’, Waldemar reflects on the album’s title, “Love is the driving force behind all our actions. But love isn’t necessarily beautiful or pleasant – it contains too much – everything from self-destruction to crimes of passion. We need to take care of one another, but also the world around us. We’ve been acting out of love, even if it’s love of money or status. As a consequence, the oceans are dying and the forests are burning. Is this the way we show future generations what love is… Love requires commitment and also has consequences.”
Having played in several semi-successful Norwegian rock bands while also working at an institution for people with drug problems, Torgeir Waldemar had seen the darker sides of both the music industry and life in general by his mid-30s. Anxious to try something else and inspired by a batch of new songs, going solo seemed like the obvious choice. The three-track EP ‘Take Me Home’ was released in 2012 and, although it didn’t catapult Waldemar to stardom right away, it made some waves eventually attracting the attention of local record label Vestkyst Records. It also landed him support slots with several more famous artists, as well as a handful of festival bookings.
For those who hadn’t already been paying attention, Waldemar’s self-titled debut album seemingly came out of nowhere in 2014 and took Norway by storm. The critics went wild and a few, very loose, comparisons with Neil Young, Gene Clark and the Laurel Canyon scene followed. The album spawned an unlikely underground hit with ‘Streets’ and Waldemar was nominated for the Spellemann Awards (the Norwegian equivalent of the Grammys) in both ‘Country’ and ‘Newcomer of the Year’ categories.
Widespread touring ensued and, having signed a new deal with tastemaker label Jansen Records, Waldemar was ready to release his sophomore effort in 2017. A louder and more forceful album than his introspective and contemplative debut, ‘No Offending Borders’ addressed Norway’s inhumane immigration policy and right-wing government. The album landed him another Spellemann nomination and launched Waldemar’s career outside Norway with rave reviews in the UK, Germany and Benelux.