(30 March 2013) Our editorial staff has been listening to the stunning Norweigian singer-songwriter Lise Olden since the release of her debut album Waiting For The Full Moon (Loe Productions (Norway) NRCD 00027, 2008). The eleven track compact disc is a collection of upbeat Celtic-tinged pop songs and heartfelt ballads.
Our correspondence with Lise began in the spring of 2012. At the time she was already well into the recording of her second album and busy with her young family. You can now learn more about Lise in our exclusive interview that was finally completed this month. Her second album is due in the third calendar quarter of 2013.
Waiting For The Full Moon is an extremely well arranged and finely produced album with contributions from over a dozen musicians. The material has all been written and sung by Lise Olden who also provides additional keyboards and percussion parts. She co-produced the project with Thomas Henriksen (keyboards, percussion).
Other musicians performing on the album are: Linda Kolsto (piano), Ole Erik Ulvin (piano), Skjalg Raaen (acoustic and electric guitars), percussion), Audun Eggen (electric and acoustic guitars), Jorn Venaas (electric guitar), Steinar Krokstad (drums), percussion), Jonny Sjo (bass), Morten Skaget (bass), Rolf Hoff Baltzersen (double bass), Emilia Amper (nokkelharpe), Johannes Rusten (violin, viola), Jan Petter Hillstad (viola), Marit Aspas (cello) and Kathrine Pedersen (cello).
The album was pressed by the NORDIC Records label. It is by no means a typical pop album; the tremendous string parts and Celtic flair present a much more professional sound, equalled perhaps only by the Irish artist, Tara Blaise. Lise tells us that songs for the album were written over an extended period. The tracks are timeless in their construction and presentation which makes the album one that will be listened to many times and over an extended period.
Lise has balanced upbeat tracks with tender ballads. The contrast not only works well but serves to illustrate the artist's crystalline vocal range and the virtuosity of her delivery. Mid-tempo tracks like the piano-backed "I Told You So" are perfectly placed on the album as well. The rock ballad "Come With Me" sung tenderly and arranged perfectly while the tender love songs "Memory Of You" and "Your Presence" are delightfully delivered. The acoustically percussive Scandinavian flavored "Meet Me When The Sun Goes Down" showcases Lise's crystalline vocals with crisp arrangements.
The album's standouts are "Somewhere In The Dark" and "Voice In The Wind." These tracks have dynamic tempo and style shifts between the crisp ballad-like verses and rich string-based multilayered choruses. Listen to Lise's crystalline textures and dramatic delivery, especially her soaring vocalise. Note how "Voice In The Wind" is a perfect bookend for the album's opening number "The Path."
Lise Olden's Waiting For The Full Moon album is a tremendous collection of well-written and outstandingly performed tracks. Although released in
2008, the timeless album remains fresh and vibrant today. We are anxious to hear her new album this autumn and are certain that it will be tremendous.