Øya Festival 2014 Day One: Emilie Nicolas, Thomas Dybdahl, The National and More | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Emilie Nicolas

Proviant Audio, Øya Festival 2014, Øya Festival 2014: Day 1, Kolstø/Atlanter/Frøkedal, The National, Thomas Dybdahl, Emilie Nicolas

Øya Festival 2014 Day One:  Emilie Nicolas, Thomas Dybdahl, The National and More, August 6th, 2014

Aug 12, 2014 Thomas Dybdahl Photography by Laura Studarus Bookmark and Share

Welcome to the first official day of Øya 2014. This year marks the first time that the fest was held in Tøyenparken. For those unfamiliar to Oslo, the new location means almost four times the real estate, closer proximity to Munch’s The Scream, and rolling hills. Upside: The geography means a great view, even while standing at the back of the crowd. The downside: by the end of the week getting to the top of them felt like making a vertical climb. But this is about day one. We were so much younger back then.

The day’s musical viewing kicked off with Kolstø/Atlanter/Frøkedal, a supergroup consisting of Hanne Kolstø, Atlanter, and Anne Lise Frøkedal (who was pretty much everywhere over the course of the weekend). The trio wove a series of vocal harmonies and crashing guitars that sounded deliciously sun drunk, even if it was difficult to distinguish one song from the next. (For those keeping score—that’s the second mention of the weather in our Øya recaps.)

On record, Thomas Dybdahl comes across as equal parts Nick Drake and José González. But live, the Norwegian singer/songwriter has twice their energy. I’m not much of a folk fan, but I found myself stomping along to songs from his freshly released album What’s Left is Forever like I was born with my feet in the soil. (Bonus points go to Thomas Dybdahl for being the most dapper of the day. Everyone loves a gentleman in a jaunty hat and plaid jacket.)

Confession: I’m not a fan of The National. I tried, I really did. But while the New York-based band may exhibit the kind of charisma that makes them standout performers, the songs of Trouble Will Find Me all blur together. (Read: It was kinda boring.) I suspect that the girl in the front row who sobbed her way through the entire performance would tell me that I’m wrong. I probably am.

The day’s standout was feather-clad, singer/songwriter Emilie Nicolas. She seems poised to have a Lykke Li-style career. (Or any other type of career she damn well pleases.) Nicolas’ voice is soft and sweet, but the way she uses it across her dark pop songs implies a hidden depth and a (not so hidden) love of R&B. So far she’s only got a few songs online, but I walked away from her set ready to hear more.

I’m not a big Queens of the Stone Age fan, so I skipped the headlining act in favor of checking out Proviant Audio. I’m glad I did. The Norwegian nine (!) piece’s music sounded like a cross between Phoenix and Daft Punk—full of disco funk and pop hooks. Emphasizing the playful nature of the tunes, frontman Mathias Stubo danced around the stage pausing to spin the absurd, oversized wheel of pointing fingers. He looked as giddy as I felt.

Check Out a gallery of day one photos here.







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