It’s been a while since I’ve posted an Artist Spotlight, eh? I hope to correct that this week with one or two more aside from this one. After all, there’s lots of outstanding artists I’d love to share with you. Today, the spotlight shines on a singer/songwriter from Norway you may or may not have heard of, depending on whether you’ve seen two certain Steve Carell comedies recently. His name is…
So how did I get into Sondre’s music? Well, I’m not quite sure, to tell you the truth. My best theory is that I had seen his name a bit on iTunes or MSN Music or some music website or something a few years ago, and decided to check out his music on an impulse. After all, you don’t see a name like his every day. (In fact, you don’t see a name like his, period. I’m still not entirely sure I’m pronouncing it right. ) So however I discovered his stuff, here’s the excellent title track to his second album, “Two Way Monologue,” that was one of the first songs I heard of his, if I remember right. (I didn’t realize until posting it just now that it’s nearly 6 minutes long. Trust me, it’s worth the time…a great word to describe it would be “tour de force.” It’s a good example of how much of a stylistic chameleon Sondre can be.):
Like I said, Sondre is somewhat of a stylistic chameleon. He goes all over the place, and then some. The cool thing about his ever-changing music, though, is that it never seems disjointed or lost. Sondre delivers it all with flair, confidence, and his own individual spin…qualities that any singer/songwriter worth their salt have. Here’s a music video from his follow-up to “Two Way Monologue,” which was a jazz CD of all things. The album was called “Duper Sessions,” and this song is called “Minor Detail.” It’s very beautiful. (P.S.: Apologies if you hit an ad before watching the video.)
After “Duper Sessions,” Sondre went to the first place all musicians go after cutting a jazz album…rock. OK, so he’s probably one of the few musicians to do that. Here’s the title track for that album, called “Phantom Punch.” It well, packs a pretty mean punch… (Bonus! Another cool music video.)
So if you weren’t paying attention earlier…Sondre has, coincidentally, been part of the soundtrack for 2 Steve Carell films. The first one, “Dan In Real Life,” was scored entirely by Sondre. The songs are all his, and he composed the music for the scenes. The short, sweet waltz he composed for the very beginning of the movie:
The second recent Steve Carell movie he provided music for was “Dinner For Schmucks” (which I didn’t love as much as “Dan In Real Life,” but wasn’t too bad). The (paraphrased) story behind this song, taken from Sondre’s blog…the composer for the film, Theodore Shapiro, wanted to have “Fool On The Hill” by the Beatles accompanying the opening credits scene. However, he didn’t think he’d be able to get the rights, so he contacted Sondre and had him compose an original song to play during the opening credits…but then the Beatles ended up granting permission. So his song was played during the closing credits instead. A pretty good deal, I would say. It’s a beautiful song, a little reminiscent of “Fool On The Hill,” but also very unique.
To close it all off, the terrific opening track from Sondre’s latest album, “Heartbeat Radio.” Sorry I’m just mostly throwing songs at you, but although I could talk about Sondre’s style a bit more (jazz/bossa-nova/even 80s music influenced at most times), or why I love his music, it’s probably best just to have you listen for yourself. This song, called “Good Luck,” is another tone-shifting tour de force (like “Two Way Monologue”), and ends with one of the most intense string outros I have ever heard:
Check out Sondre’s website here. See y’all tonight with a recap of the fourth episode of “The Sing-Off,” and later this week with another Artist Spotlight, and Song Shuffle Game.