The second day of the Øya Festival was sunny, although it became quite chilly when the sun went down. The headliners this day was PJ Harvey who I saw, and Jamie XX, who played at the same time on two stages. Before them I saw a lot of good concerts both with artists I have seen before, and also some new ones. (Photo above: PJ Harvey)
I started the day with Frøder, She is a new electronic pop artist from Bergen, who makes music in the same style as many of the other new artists, a bit deeper than Aurora and more stripped than Susanne Sundfør. Like so many other artists in this style, she has drums, synth plus guitar/synth on stage, and plays sampler and loops herself. I liked her songs and her performance and will follow Frøder in her career.
After Frøder I saw Okkultokrati, a hard rock band with punk and metal elements in their music. They played the tent stage, and the Øya gig is so far their biggest event. The band has been active since 2008 and have released several EPs, split singles and three full length albums. Okkultokrat’s music is dirty rock with effective songs, and they also have a good live show.
Seinabo Sey is one of the most interesting female Swedish artists today. She released her debut album Pretend last year, but had already had success with Kygo’s remix of her singel Younger, that was, among voter things, BBC Radio 1’s Track of the day in April 2015. Sienna Sey’s music is pop soul, with an emphasis on strong melodies and personal lyrics that is a perfect fit for her deep and rich voice.
Swedish artist Nicole Sabouné was a new name for me. She is 25 years old and has already released two albums. Her style is indie, but a bit more introvert than most other bands, but she does well on stage. Her band was good, following her with perfect precision and she has a good voice.
Mastodon have played in Norway before, and I saw them at the Norwegian Wood festival in 2011. I really liked them then, and I liked what I saw at Øya, too. In a way I feel they were fresher the first time I saw them, at Øya their performance felt more calculated. Still they are a very good hard rock band, and it was good to hear some hard guitar riffs after all the electronic pop music so far.
Amanda Bergman is the singer in Swedish band Amason that played at Øya last year. This year she performed solo, and I liked it a lot. She is an interesting artist, with some fun and quirky moves when she sings. This year she released her debut album, Docks. With Amason Amanda Bergman was a part of the band, while she can shine more on stage solo. Her concert was one of my favorites Thursday.
The artist every one was waiting for Thursday was PJ Harvey. Her career started in 1988, and she has been a high respected artist since then, even if she has never been a top selling artist until this year’s album The Hope Six Demolition Project that went to number one in UK. Her songs are often dark, and with no obvious solutions to the problems she discusses.
At the concert at Øya she played all the songs from The Hope Six Demolition Project plus six songs from her previous releases. The band was big, with her usual flair for interesting instrumentation – alto sax (herself), tenor sax, baritone sax, bass clarinet, violin, guitars, keyboards, drums and percussion. This makes her sound special, but in a positive way. The concert got good reviews in the Norwegian press, and you can see the setlist here.
All photos are © Per Ole Hagen and just not be used without written permission.