Uncharted Territory - Siril Malmedal Hauge
Siril Malmedal Hauge's Jazzland debut, "Uncharted Territory" is a perfect blend of pop energy and accessibility with jazz, rock, Americana and singer-songwriter sensibilities, bursting with melodic freshness. Featuring Siril's beautiful, clear and expressive voice, the songs balance commercial exuberance with intelligence, both musically and lyrically. Themes both weighty and feather-light are given the appropriate treatments and settings. The moods are many, with variations of light and shade, but a sense of positivity glistens from every song. The instrumentation is broadly that of a classic rock ensemble, with relaxed but skilful playing and an old-school vibe to the recording process that eliminates the digitally quantized dehumanizing aspects of so many releases this past number of years. Consequently, the resulting album is an organic musical entity, with every song, every phrase, and every note as alive as it should be.
Siril's band features some of the most exciting new musical talent in Norway today: Martin Myhre Olsen (MMO Ensemble; Wako; Megalodon Collective) on saxophone, Torgeir Hovden Standal (The Jist) on guitar, Kjetil André Mulelid (Kjetil Mulelid Trio; Wako; Kjemilie; MMO Ensemble) on piano and organ, Martin Morland (Masåva) on bass, and Henrik Lødøen (Megalodon Collective; Rohey) on drums. Their playing is soulful, focussed and attentive, and a perfect antidote to corporate treadmill productions that are pumped out of the one-trick-pony machine that dominates the mainstream. "Uncharted Territory" is a perfect album to soundtrack the watch for signs of spring.