When I recently ran into the single release Norwegian Black Metal by Simen Mitlid, I just had to share it with you in my Songs of the Week. The song is not at all a guitar riff firework, but a lovely, gentle indie-folk song. On 27th October 2023, Mitlid released a full album, Fredsvenn. I was really curious about it.
Simen Mitlid – About The Artist
Simen Mitlid is an indie folk singer-songwriter from Oslo. He is releasing music since 2016. Fredsvenn, which means “Friend of Freedom” is his fourth studio album overall. It is inspired by the illegal peace protest by Norwegian artist Benedik Riis in Norway. In 2022, Mitlid also released the seven track EP Social.
Simen Mitlid – Fredsvenn – Track by Track
The ten track album lasts 39 minutes.
The opener of Mitlid’s 2023 album is Border. The song is already taking the same direction as the whole album will do. You have fine melodies with not too opulent instrumentation, which is just enough to have a lovely, fine focus on the story and the atmosphere. Lovely listen.
You told me about a border where the sunrise lasts four
Or five minutes longer
And when we’re there I’ll show you how to run somewhere else
Way down the line
2. Norwegian Black Metal (feat. Ea Othilde)
Norwegian Black Metal has been the song of the album which gave me a focus on Mitlid’s music. I still love listening to the song, which I featured in my 29th September 2023 Songs of the Week. Having Norwegian artist Ea Othilde with him in this song is also a nice addition.
3. You Left Your Keys (on the Floor)
I’ll fight for your reasons – and my gold
But save the violence for my soul
Every muscle and their bones
Torn apart from what they know
You can have it all
I feel it is hard to explicitly pick a song which is illustrating the lyrical qualities of Simen Mitlid in an outstanding way. However, I really love listening to this fourth track, which is again creating this beautiful, fairy tale alike atmosphere.
Compared to the other songs of the album, Neighbours feels rather loud and pop-ish. The rather present rhythm leads to a very enjoyable, happy vibe.
5. Almost Forever
This day will last forever
But forever makes me sick
;akes my heart beat faster
Like when I was just a kid
Especially at the beginning of Almost Forever, the strummed acoustic guitar almost feels angelic to me. The arrangement of his songs takes Simen Mitlid listeners into other spheres, in a very magical way.
6. A Very Successful Band Rehearsal
I guess this one is a rather rare title for a song. In fact, the sixth track is a some one minute instrumental interlude, leading into the next song, Five Hundred Days.
7. Five Hundred Days
The very reduced background at the beginning of Five Hundred Days leads to a frightening atmosphere. However, the song, which is is looking back to memories (I forgot the feelings, remember all the ideas), does get a more friendly touch in its main part, before it is reaching out towards a fade out. One of the nicest plots on Fredsvenn.
The single release bloodshed is one of the central songs of the album. The song is full of struggle with war and his consequences. Very impressing listen.
9. It’s All We Ever Talk About
After this very heavy and impressing song, the ninth track feels light, like a relief to me. However, the song also talking about struggle in personal relationships as well (‘Cause from the beginning you breached every surface alone).
while the other songs on this album typically take some three to four minutes, the title track is an epic, which is close to ten. However, the song is also special as it is sung in Norwegian. The lyrics are not that much longer than in other songs, but Fredsvenn takes much more time to invest in atmosphere and instrumental complexity. An amazing finale.
Simen Mitlid – Fredsvenn – Spotify
Here is Fredsvenn on Spotify:
Simen Mitlid – Fredsvenn – My View
Of course, Fredsvenn is not mainstream record, it will not be a global chartbreaker. But I really love it. I love the fine balancing of sounds matching the storytelling of the Norwegian artists. The ten songs simply form a beautiful listen. If you like to sit down and actively listen to music and stories, this indie-folk album is indeed a nice option.
Favorite Song: Norwegian Black Metal
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