I am honored anytime someone sends me a record and asks me to give my thoughts. While an Americana act from Norway on a German record label is definitely up my alley, the chances of me running across Benedicte Brænden while living in Atlanta, GA might have been slim if it not had been for Hound Gawd Records reaching out.
This little 45rpm has two very different sounds on it. The individual sides of this record are married by a soft and angelic voice with a slight vibrato that somehow feels old and new at the same time.
Can’t Feel My Heart is a 1950s style dreamy doo-wop pop song. It features simple surf-style guitar work, ethereal back-up vocals, and the ease and cadence of a love song. This is the type of music you would find playing on a jukebox in the corner of an old fashioned soda fountain with teenagers snuggling up in the booths, sharing a malt, and getting lost in each other’s eyes without a care in the world.
Lyrically, Can’t Feel My Heart is sad and depressing. It describes the feeling or lack thereof, you have when you are stuck in a relationship that you care nothing about.
Raging River, the B-side of this 45rpm, is much different. There are hints of 60s psychedelic rock with much of the sound leaning on a Hammond-style organ and a wah-wah guitar.
There is a groove that makes you want to bob your head and move your hips.
Discogs has this 45rpm listed as ”Folk, World, & Country” and I just don’t feel that is accurate. I suppose that Americana is appropriate, but I’m still not sure that is accurate either.
This is a little country and a little pop and a little rock n roll…so, maybe that is exactly what Americana is.