Hanne Hukkelberg’s third album, ‘Blood From A Stone’ saw its release earlier this spring. The album, which was written during long stay during the Polar winter on the Senja Island in Northern Norway, marks a new direction for the acclaimed artist, a departure from earlier releases’ hushed, quirky electronica into a new, louder and bolder sonic landscape.
Hanne Hukkelberg’s 2005 debut album ‘Little Things’ was a charming impression of life in Oslo, notable for its imaginative use of found sounds and eclectic array of instrumentation. Her elfin but idiosyncratic persona coupled with a lazily seductive voice drew comparisons to everyone from Joanna Newsom and Björk, to Stina Nordenstam and Billie Holliday.
Her sophomore album ‘Rykestrasse 68’, her first since signing to Canadian label Nettwerk, is a tribute to six months she spent living in Berlin and is far less whimsical, with a moodier, more widescreen production. Like her debut, it was produced by Kåre Vestrheim at Propeller Studios in Oslo and features contributions from the cream of the Norwegian music scene, including members of Jaga Jazzist, Dinosau and Shining. While it shares its predecessor’s wide-eyed wonderment, Hukkelberg’s experimentation reaches maturity here. The album is awash with inventive flourishes, with rhythm tracks constructed from the clacking of typewriters, kitchen utensils, a cat purring or the spinning of a bicycle wheel. Producer Vestrheim melds vibes, glockenspiel and theremin with wheezing brass and sonorous strings, giving the album a wonderfully creaky ambience akin to Emiliana Torrini, Múm and even Tom Waits. Opener "Berlin" is transformed by the addition of atmospheric street sounds, while "A Cheater’s Armoury" is perhaps the most overtly jazz influenced track here and comes with a video directed by award winning MTV animator Andreas Palegolas (also included on the album).
Hukkelberg started singing and playing instruments in her home town of Kongsberg, Norway at the age of 3 and later played in various jazz, rock and free jazz bands including a high school heavy metal act called Funeral. A graduate of the Norwegian Academy of Music, she has also gained a reputation as a powerful live performer, her shows full of typically Scandinavian absurdist humour.
‘Blood From A Stone’ was released via Nettwerk in Europe on the 20th of April and is scheduled for a 12th of May release in all other territories.
Hanne Hukkelberg's Last.fm site
Hanne Hukkelberg's MySpace site
Nettwerk Music Group (Artist Managements\Outside Norway; Record Companies\Outside Norway)
Hanne Hukkelberg, Artist