- Hanne Hukkelberg -

music for
featherbrains

Featherbrain is a risky album. Both dissonant and lyrical, it is music for headphones and notebooks. Its intimate, eccentric sounds demand your intimacy and your eccentricity, but the effort is rewarded: a personal and honest sonic world opens up, in fact, so sincere Hukkelberg had to toughen up to record it. Listen carefully.

Hukkelberg’s music has always been about personal sound. This has given her great artistic freedom to move effortlessly between genres, and her three previous albums are defined by utterly distinct soundscapes: debut Little Things (2005) was eccentric and adventurous, second offering Rykestrasse 68 (2007) warm and lyrical, and third album Blood From A Stone (2009) explored a huge, romantic indie rock canvas. The otherworldly take on pop, jazz and art rock has given Hukkelberg a wide audience internationally, and in 2010 she toured with Wilco. This was also the year she travelled to New York to write new material. The result is Featherbrain, combining the noisy guitars and heavy rhythms of Blood From A Stone with a more stripped-down, lyrical lightness. She explains: ”This album feels like the missing link, the record that concludes my first years as a solo artist...Featherbrain is its own beast, but it still has aspects of the other three in it.”

Several songs on Featherbrain sound like old home recordings. Every song has its own place, as if you’re wandering from room to room in Hukkelberg’s world – her kitchen and church in The Time And I And What We Make, a New York apartment in The Bigger Me. I Sing You, with a gothic harpsichord, multiple string instruments and mystical vocal, evokes a dark, old wooden house she has lived in. Accompanying her are a small family of musicians – producer/multi-instrumentalist Kåre Vestrheim (Motorspycho, Jaga Jazzist, Marit Larsen, Shining, Katzenjammer, Superfamily), guitarist Ivar Grydeland (Huntsville, Dans Les Arbres), vocalist Mai Elise Solberg (Ontz, VOM) – as well as Sigurd Hukkelberg, Hanne’s father, playing the church organ in her home town of Kongsberg.

The feeling of home recordings doesn’t make the album cosy – but it makes the music sound intimate, moving and imperfect – guitar notes distort, a piano moves in and out of tune. It sounds lived, not just dreamed. And this gives life to a new and more personal Hukkelberg – her voice is equally imperfect. She wobbles, improvises and confesses. First single My Devils opens with a few simple piano chords, before her voice breaks it all down with a snarl: ”HAH!” The track continues, shifting between a free-flowing, staggering verse and a melodic feast of a chorus, before accelerating into a flamboyant, razor-sharp vocal arrangement.

"they tear apart and reconstruct
my personal, inner pictures"

sings Hukkelberg, her voice layered in intensely beautiful dissonant takes, bringing to mind an experimental, aggressive chorus of Elizabeth Fraser.

Closing track Erik, sung in Norwegian, is a duet with Erik Vister, an 88-year old classically trained singer. The lyrics, sung to a detuned piano, deal with asceticism – owning little, appreciating the little things, being humble. This is an important theme on the album – being a good person, the human quality. Vister’s ancient, beautiful voice against Hukkelberg’s brings out the most beautiful quality there is: the imperfect, honest existence. This is Featherbrain’s biggest achievement – creating a kind of antique pop music, at the same time brittle and soft, powerful and fragile, but most of all overwhelmingly human.



My fourth album «Featherbrain» is out! Get it at:

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«Featherbrain»
Release dates: Feb 17th (GSA),
Feb 20th (UK/ww) and Feb 24th (NO)

Get it at: iTunes Amazon Platekompaniet

  1. 01. Featherbrain
  2. 02. Noah
  3. 03. I Sing You
  4. 04. My Devils
  5. 05. Too Good To Be Good
  6. 06. SMS
  7. 07. The Time And I And What We Make
  8. 08. You Gonna
  9. 09. Erik

Reviews (collage):

«Blood from a Stone»
Released: May 12, 2009.

Get it at: iTunes Amazon Platekompaniet

  1. 01. Midnight Sun Dream
  2. 02. Blood From A Stone
  3. 03. Bandy Riddles
  4. 04. No Mascara Tears
  5. 05. Seventeen
  6. 06. Salt Of The Earth
  7. 07. No One But Yourself
  8. 08. In Here/ Out There
  9. 09. Crack
  10. 10. Bygd Til By

Pitchfork review:



Lyrics:

01. Mid Night Sun Dream

Hanne: tremolo & solo guitars, clogs, synth, skaland rocks, table, train door, percussion, field recordings Kåre: rhythm guitar Henning: bass

You and me and everyone,
walking in the midnight sun,
we are bare.
We don’t need to dress in clothes,
no attempts on sowing oats.
We are rare.
Strangers take care.
Don’t need to be aware.
There is no despair.

When we meet, we politely say
“how are you”, and do not stay.
Strangers outdoors.
When I pass, I don’t look back.
You don’t whistle a warning of attack.
We’re matures,
not saboteurs.
I am not yours.
There’re no gender wars.

I’m no temptress
you can’t resist.
There’s no message.
We’re simply bare strangers
under the midnight sun.

02. Blood From A Stone

Hanne: lead guitar, celesta pedal percussion, backing vocals Kåre: acoustic guitar Henning: bass Ivar: rhythm guitars Martin: kitchen percussion Hurra Torpedo: oven & freezer- drums

I am calm,
mild and meek.
I often do
avoid to speak.
But my mouth says
the words she likes.
I play the game
she decides.

“Never ask,
at all time keep it disguised,
let no-one know”-
tell me, who gave you
these rules?
You never made no promise, boy.

Inside I’m not
the way she thinks.
She doesn’t know
about my salty drinks.
But I won’t tell,
it just never fits.
I’d rather swell
than ask for it.

Far underneath
my belly screams.
But a mouth curb
allays, it seems.
The circumstances’
dictatorship
I cannot change.
Guess I deserve the whip.

03. Bandy Riddles

Hanne: rhythm guitars, clogs, vaseline box & kitchen percussion, hand claps, bicycle spokes, tambourine, backing vocals Kåre: acoustic guitars Lena: flute Bent: bass Martin: metal percussion Mark: cello

I am drawing a sheet
full of dots and lines
- that’s you.
And you are drawing a star,
scissor out, it shines.
- that’s me.

I wish I knew each one of you,
knew all your bandy riddles
and you – mine,
knew mine.

Through my star shaped shades
I see some people stare at me.
And through my heart shaped heart
I sense someone’s repair.

If I were a song,
then I’d be yours
and I’d cure your
woe.

If I were a song,
then I’d be yours
and I’d cure your
woe.. woe.. woe

Different shapes and colors-
you’re helping me unwind,
you are one of a kind
and you lighten up my mind.
But it’s so many of you,
sometimes I just resign.

If I were a song,
then I’d be yours
and I’d cure your
woe.
Oooooooooooooooo………….
We’ll sing each other’s songs.
That’s where our love belongs.

04. No Mascara Tears

Hanne: lead guitars, bass, church organ Kåre: rhythm guitar, choir, synth Erland: log drum, sandviken saw

A weak hand reaches out now,
fear is in her eyes,
whispers a curly prayer,
no mascara tears.

Is she a performer,
is her pain real?
Our insufficiency
feeds apathy.
“She even lost her heart”, we say,
keep our own away.

The more she needs
the less I give.
If she’s in vain
I leave her.
The harder she tries
the worse I see her.
All that is weak.
I leave behind.

05. Seventeen

Hanne: toms, clogs, tambourine, metal box snare, bass, synth, rhythm & solo guitars Kåre: rhythm guitars, grand piano, bicycle wheel Lena: bass clarinet Hurra Torpedo: oven & freezer- percussion

He’s seventeen,
he’s like a machine.
He’s of steel,
he’s a cog in the wheel,
a spine so steep,
he’d never weep
but you could buy him pretty cheap.

Didn’t fit in school.
A stupid rule
made him a fool.
But bragging bold
what he’s been told,
that’s his gold.

A perfect master’s tool.
Dignity is astray
if you can pay.
He would even gladly
go the easy way out,
line of least resistance.
He’s the king of cash.
He’s a gold digger soldier.

Unknowingness
are hurting less,
won’t be a mess.
Affordability and
getting things for free
is of importance,
to be fed on champagne and
get it directly in the vein.

He’s a puppet in a show,
just an undertow.
(But) he doesn’t know.
X2

06. Salt Of the Earth

Hanne: church organ, non stop candy- percussion, grand piano, backing vocals Kåre: backing vocals, synths Ivar: solo guitar Henning: rhythm & solo basses Hurra Torpedo: oven & freezer- percussion

As you march,
put your feet down along the path,
as you sharply slide,
cut what darkens your designed, firm sight -

I am the grass under your feet that softens your steps,
and I am the branch you break and
I am the bird you laugh off and leave in the lurch,
gloss over, silence and forget.

As you’re getting close,
tear along, rushing madly off reaching your goals,
as you dust up the sand,
eager to see rewards in glitter and gold -

I am the sand under your feet that softens your steps,
and I am the branch you break and
I am the bird you laugh off and leave in the lurch,
gloss over and silence, omit.
I am the grass under your feet that softens your steps,
and I am the branch you break and
I am the bird you laugh off and leave in the lurch,
gloss over and silence and forget.

As you cut in suspense,
wanting space to grow,
- it’s on my expense,
but you don’t look below.

07. No one But Yourself

Hanne: table percussion, rhythm guitar, soprano recorder Kåre: acoustic guitar Ivar; lead & solo guitars Lena: bass clarinet

It’s not a man
nor a woman,
there’s no one in the sky
counting our sins,
forgiving our misdeeds,
no one denouncing
or immortalizing.

There’s no right or wrong.
It all lacks a motive.
State of affairs:
A sheer force of will
is our navigator,
we run our own risks.
No parachutes,
no shelter.

We’re behind the wheel,
we decide ourselves which way to pull,
what our faith contains and
how to relate to our
crossroads.

No God may be aching,
but grief alone may gather.
One life may be a painful truth,
but life alone may relieve.

08. In Here/Out There

Hanne: prepared grand piano, table percussion, drums, backing vocals, synth Kåre: synth Henning: bass Ivar: guitars Lena: bass clarinet Hurra Torpedo: oven & freezer- percussion

I’m closing my eyes,
pleasure, delights.
In here it all’s quite bright.
Nothing’s in the way,
conscience is astray.
And to keep it comfortable I can close my eyes.

I know that there’s trouble going on,
that out there’re wars and battles from dusk till dawn,
knees on the floors, hands back bounded.
But to keep it comfortable I close my eyes.

Now I can see the concrete’s begging.
Can’t help making my shoes trampling.
Something odd inside’s about to arise.
To keep it comfortable I close my eyes.

09. Crack

Hanne: bass, rhythm gitar, heart drum, celesta pedal percussion Kåre: zithers, guitar, synths Ivar: solo & FX guitar Hurra Torpedo: oven & freezer- percussion

We know a hanging drop of water’s fate
is to crack meeting the ground.
Like an egg in a bird’s nest -
it will crack.
Some things won’t hold back,
it must crack.

Shaking a soda- it overflows.
That’s just the way it goes.
Like a full barrage on a rainy day
-it overflows.
Some things won’t shut,
it must crack.

Put fear inside a dense box
-it will grow. Later explode.
Shame, anger, guilt put behind bars-
they will grow.
Later they crack.

Some things won’t
vanish behind closed doors.
Like a virus, they form and grow.
You can’t stop it, you’re gonna burst.
You’re gonna crack.
It must crack.

10. Bygd Til By

Hanne: q chord, rhythm guitar, vibrafonette, celesta, glockenspiel, whistling, backing vocals, table percussion, piano pedal snare Kåre: q chord, guitar synth, whistling Ivar: lead guitar Erland: sandviken saw

Med svai rygg
og skjev nakke
bøyer de seg for meg.
Noen så vidt,
andre til bakken,
smiler et svakt,

ærbødig farvel.

I gull og rødt
har de kledd seg.
Med øm røst
hvisker de til meg.
Det kiler i øret,
Hemmelighetene,

ydmykt farvel.

Bygd til by,
over sky,
tok jeg følge med en ravn.
Bygd til by,
over sky.
Ei det samme. Annet navn.

Langt bak et telt, et bål
og dype hav,
kjennes lukten av betong.
Tunge, gråsvarte, uvillige
byr seg frem
med liksom sang.

Tungsindig,
Vemodig.
Farvel.

«Rykestraße 68»
Released: March 4, 2008.

Get it at: iTunes Amazon Platekompaniet

  1. 01. Berlin
  2. 02. Cheater’s Armoury
  3. 03. Pirate
  4. 04. Fourteen
  5. 05. Northwind
  6. 06. Obelix
  7. 07. Break My Body
  8. 08. Ticking Bomb
  9. 09. Pynt
  10. 10. Searching [Live][*]
  11. 11. Cheater’s Armoury [*][Multimedia Track]

Pitchfork review:



Wire records of the year 2007:



Lyrics:

01. Berlin

Picking dry
And crispy paintflakes
Off a large, white
bricket wall
while i stare
out of my window.
Stare at my neighbours balcony.
- old bullet holes.
Behind wild botany.

On the outside
Of the penny marked
punks are selling
black&white fanzines.
She buys one,
walks on by
to another.
Black&white.
The women meet,
Black&white,
The women kiss.

Doodelei.

Shy, polite
you show me yourself.
Forgetting regretting,
But conscientiously humble.
You, you tell about your past.
And with open arms
You listen to mine.

Ooh dei doodelei.

02. A Cheater’s Armoury

All above board,
And we see nothing at all.
Clean and empty hands,
But still there’s something lurking.
We believe you when you lie
Buy your word, -then you deny,
Pay your wealth, -you leave us high and dry

You gamester,
You tell us our
Fortunes by your cards
And you’re rubbing
Yourself deep
Into our wounds.

You gamester
You fool us
We watch your spinning wheel
And we scratch
And we itch,
And the longer it
Takes for us
To heal.

You promise ten birds
-In the bush,
Each and every sunday
Sell your ”letters of indulgens”
We believe you when you lie
Buy your word, -then you deny,
Pay your wealth, -you leave us high and dry
A cheater’s armoury

All you’ve got
Is shifty eyes,
A black dress,
A false name.

03. The Pirate

He woke up
Six o’clock AM
In his boat
Drifting far out nowhere.
Nothing matters now, he thought.
He had decided
To do it properly.
Some frends
Helped him out:
The brown liquor,
Some white, little ones..

A dive into
Infinity, eternity.
God´s haven.
A dive into water.
The rocks pull him down.

The fight he fought inside
Had gone on far too long now.
At least long enough.
-I want to do myself and mine
A last and final favour.
He tightened his backpack,
-I’m ready to dive,
start a second life.

A dive into
Infinity, eternity,
God’s haven.
A dive into water.
The rocks pull
His body down
But brings his soul
Even higher,
Even higher.

A dive into
Infinity, eternity,
God’s haven.
A dive into water.
The rocks pull
Him down.
A dive into
Infinity, eternity,
God’s haven.
A dive into water.
The rocks pull
His body down
But brings his soul
Even higher,
Even higher.
Even higher.

04. Fourteen

Heart in mouth,
Awkward, rare,
wet behind the ear,
inside out,
outside’s gone,
You’re two parts in one.
It might be
Strenuous.
Snakes cast their skin
Slowly..

One are old
one are new,
Both of them are you.
One’s a bore,
The other’s cool,
Sometimes you’re
A fool.
It might be
Strenuous.
snakes cast their skin
Slowly..

When i put them
Beside eachother
i see several persons.
When you put them
Upon eachother
You’ll find yourself.
You’ll become one,
One, one.

One are good,
One are bad.
This only makes you sad.
Outside stinks,
Dries and shrinks,
What’s underneath is pink.
Your mother say short and curt:
Bursting buds do hurt.
It might be
Strenuous.
snakes cast their skin
Slowly..

05. The North Wind

The north wind
And the sun
Made a bet about getting
The coat off a man,
The wind from the north
Lost the bet.

The cold north wind blows,
Blows forcefully,
Too strong.

We struggle
Through your
Contrary wind.
Your high jinks
Makes us strive
Even more.
With our coats
As your sail,
You try to
Blow us away.

The cold
North wind knows,
He blows forcefully.
The more the wind blows
The more tightened we’ll be.

Isn´t it nice
With some warmth.
We only reveal ourselfs and
Change ourselfs when we’re sheltered.

Northwind-
Come when the days are doze.
Northwind-
Come when the coat´s on fire.
Northwind-
Come when the sun chokes us.

06. Obelix

Light feet
Runs towards me.
His eyes;
dark green.

A good heart.
Wise and knowing soul,
Olden soul,
Dinosaur,
Sincere,
Open,
Playful,
Aware.

Obelix
Gives me what i need.
Not what
I want,
That is a deed.

Obelixs’
Castle is
Far away.
The woods,- his crypton.
The woods,- a crib,
The woods,- his home.
At home.

He woun’t
divulge
his pride
supreme.
He hides
His tounge,
His words,
His song.

07. Break my body

I’m a horny looser
You find my scratching on my mother’s door
I’m the ugly lover
They find us
Rolling on a dirty floor

Break my body
Hold my bones

I’m a belly dancer
I’ll shake forever
Say that you’ll never care
I’m a building jumper
Roof to roof
You see me flying
In the air

08. Ticking Bomb

On me
There’s a button
They’ve ticket the goods,
They’ve labeled the luggage.
They sent me here,
To a sterile, white
Waiting room.
Not only i know
I contain a ticking bomb.

They say
The word.
They know
The word is the code.
- He oughta handle it.
Oh, I explode into pieces.
Do i care?
My dismal lifework.

Who am i ?
What have i done?
I’ve lost my self again.
I’ve punished the good,
The innocent, my beloved,
My liberator, my saviour.

I know the situation.
I realize my deeds.
Blowing off the bomb
Was lengthening
Way out of hell.
Now who am i
Deserving mercy now.
Done is done.
Perhaps i need
another bomb.

09. Pynt

Overflatens list
Blunker.
Lokker så til seg dåren
Og salter sår
Men elskes
Høyt, over alt.

Vi bygger i høyden,
En fasade.
Ingen må se bak,
(Helst ikke engang du),
Der bærebjelken er
Spikret utenpå.

Tresko og grus.

Det blinker
Foran nesen.
Gripe tak,
Gjemme seg bak.
Heller mystisk
Enn lystig.
Å gjemme dyret
Fremmer uhyret
Utenpå.

«Little Things»
Released: June 14, 2005.
Reissued: March 4, 2008

Get it at: iTunes Amazon Platekompaniet

  1. 01. Hoist Anchor
  2. 02. Searching
  3. 03. Little Girl
  4. 04. Cast Anchor
  5. 05. Do Not As I Do
  6. 06. Balloon
  7. 07. Displaced
  8. 08. Ease
  9. 09. Conversion
  10. 10. True Love
  11. 11. Kæft
  12. 12. Words & A Piece Of Paper
  13. 13. Boble

Pitchfork review:

«Cast Anchor»
May 17, 2005.
EP, Limited Edition

Get it at: iTunes Amazon Platekompaniet

  1. 01. Cast Anchor
  2. 02. Ease
  3. 03. Professor [Live]
  4. 04. Words & A Piece of Paper [Live]

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

HANNE HUKKELBERG: Featherbrain /Press sheet

Download pdf: EN | NO

With Hanne Hukkelberg you never know what you get, just that it’s experimental, cinematic and melodic. In 2010 she toured with Wilco, and this was also the year she moved to New York to write new material. The result is Featherbrain, Hukkelberg’s fourth album, to be released world wide February 2012.

Hukkelberg’s music has always been about personal sound. This has given her great artistic freedom to move effortlessly between genres, and her three previous albums are defined by utterly distinct soundscapes: debut Little Things (2005) was eccentric and adventurous, second offering Rykestrasse 68 (2007) warm and lyrical, and third album Blood From A Stone (2009) explored a huge, romantic indie rock canvas inspired by the likes of Cocteau Twins, Pixies, PJ Harvey and Sonic Youth. The otherworldly take on pop, jazz and art rock has given Hukkelberg two nominations for the Norwegian Grammy, mulitple tours and a wide audience internationally.

Combining the noisy guitars and heavy rhythms of Blood From A Stone, the stripped-­‐ down, lyrical lightness from Rykestrasse 68, and the weird and quirky sound picture from Little Things, Featherbrain creates a kind of antique pop music, at the same time brittle and soft, powerful and fragile. Hukkelberg explains:”This album feels like the missing link. To understand the previous albums, you need to listen to Featherbrain, and the other way around”.

Featherbrain is a risky album. Both dissonant and lyrical, it is music for headphones and notebooks. Its intimate, eccentric sounds demand your intimacy and your eccentricity, and the effort is rewarded: a personal and honest sonic world opens up, in fact, so sincere Hukkelberg had to toughen up to record it. Listen carefully!

“At once staggeringly original and brimming with unusual charm, Hukkelberg enchants at every turn… A fascinating musical creature emerging from the shadows of obscurity.”
–Rock Sound

“Hanne Hukkelberg’s voice is so ethereal it makes Björk seem clumsy.”
–Q Magazine

HANNE HUKKELBERG: Blood From A Stone /Press sheet

Blood From A Stone is the third album by Norwegian artist Hanne Hukkelberg. In part inspired by her past as a member of various rock and metal bands (and especially their live incarnations) and in part by her 80’s dominated collection of indie/rock albums, Hanne acknowledges that the likes of Sonic Youth, Cocteau Twins, Pixies, Einstüerzende Neubauten and P.J. Harvey have all exerted an influence over her new songs, while one can also detect traces of Siouxsie & The Banshees at their most oblique and many other new wave/post punk outfits.

However, although it is immediately apparent that this is a more ‘rock’ album than Hanne’s previous releases (Little Things [2005] and Rykestrasse 68 [2007]), the results are still undeniably leftfield leaning. The bulk of her vocals are first takes and her lyrics more direct and less introverted than on previous albums. Musically, the songs continue her penchant for combining traditional and unusual instrumentation to form a soundscape unique to her; for a self-confessed ‘rock’ album, Blood From A Stone still manages to include field recordings of flagpoles, train doors, seagulls, clogs, rocks, kitchen utensils, freezers, stoves and a school desk. And no regular drum kit. In line with the pervading approach towards the recording process, all instruments were tuned by ear, with digital tuners banned from the studio.

Although Blood From A Stone was recorded in Hanne’s regular studio in Oslo, the songs themselves were written during a seven month spell living in a tiny coastal village on the Norwegian island of Senja, 300 kilometres north of the Polar Circle. This both compares to and starkly contrasts with a similar period of time spent ensconced in Berlin while writing her previous album. Hanne explains:

“In the north of Norway it is way more quiet. It has been interesting to experience composing in both a busy city and in a quiet village. I noticed it affected me in very different ways. I felt a need for composing more quiet songs in the noisy city, and more noisy music in the quiet village.” Repeated listens to Blood From A Stone reveal an album of depth and many treasures. Among its highlights, the metal inspired Salt Of The Earth begins with gentle verses replete with church organ, synthesizer and a softly coo-ing vocal harmony, before lurching into an epic chorus that sports crashing piano chords and metal percussion galore and that carries with it an ominous sense of foreboding. The title track is built around a robust, repetitive bass and metal percussion rhythm with an uplifting, melodic chorus and added vocal whoops and hollers aplenty, while Bandy Riddles swiftly develops into a frenetic acoustic indie-rock strummer….albeit an indie-rock strummer without a drumkit, although it does incorporate bicycle spokes, clogs and a vaseline box into the mix. In contrast, the closing Bygd Til By gradually unfolds in a sedate and stately manner, building to a musical climax that maintains a controlled grandeur throughout. It is the only song on the album with lyrics in Hanne’s native Norwegian.

Blood From A Stone is produced by Hanne’s long-term collaborator Kåre Vestrheim and co-produced by Hanne. Several of her regular musicians appear on the album, including Henning Sandsdalen, Lena Nymark, Erland Dahlen and Kåre Vestrheim, while other contributors are Bent Sæther (of Motorpsycho) Ivar Grydeland (Huntsville), Martin Langlie (Gåte, Valkyrien Allstars), Mark Jowett (head of Hanne’s international label, Nettwerk), and the unusual rhythm section Hurrah Torpedo (on freezers and stoves). Hanne herself plays bass, guitar, drums, percussion, piano and various bric-a-brac.

A European tour will follow the April release of Blood From A Stone.

HANNE HUKKELBERG: Rykestrasse 68 /Press sheet

Norwegian singer Hanne Hukkelberg’s 2005 debut album Little Things was a charming impression, notable for its imaginative use of found sounds and eclectic array of instrumentation. Her elfin but idiosyncratic persona coupled with a lazily seductive voice drew comparisons to everyone from Joanna Newsom and Björk, to Stina Nordenstam and Billie Holliday.

Her sophomore album Rykestrasse 68, her first since signing to Canadian label Nettwerk, is a tribute to the six months she recently spent living in Berlin and is far less whimsical, with a moodier, more widescreen production. Like her debut, it was produced by Kåre Vestrheim at Propeller Studios in Oslo and features contributions from the cream of the Norwegian music scene, including members of Jaga Jazzist, Dinosau and Shining.

While it shares its predecessor’s wide-eyed wonderment, Hukkelberg’s experimentation reaches maturity here. The album is awash with inventive flourishes, with rhythm tracks constructed from the clacking of typewriters, kitchen utensils, a cat purring or the spinning of a bicycle wheel. Producer Vestrheim melds vibes, glockenspiel and theremin with wheezing brass and sonorous strings, giving the album a wonderfully creaky ambience akin to Emiliana Torrini, Múm and even Tom Waits. Opener “Berlin” is transformed by the addition of atmospheric street sounds, while “A Cheater’s Armoury” is perhaps the most overtly jazz influenced track here and comes with a video directed by award winning MTV animator Andreas Palegolas (also included on the album).

However, Hukkelberg’s lyrical concerns are ambiguous. It’s for the listener to glean the meanings of “Obelix”, (the finest paean to a feline since Red House Painter’s ‘Wop-A-Din-Din’), sits alongside “The Pirate” (a lonely death at sea) or “Ticking Bomb”.

Rykestrasse’s defining moment is an extraordinary interpretation of the Pixies classic “Break My Body”, a perennial live favourite re-cast as an evocative sea shanty that Hukkelberg manages to invade so completely as to make the song her own. Pixies manager Ken Goes was moved to say: “Of the dozens and dozens of Pixies covers over the years, Hanne’s is my favourite.”

An album of contrasts, it is a testament to Hukkelberg’s skill that she manages to make such a personal work so inviting. As well as the aforementioned video, the UK edition of the album also includes a live version of “Searching”, the original version of which (from Little Things) was recently used as the soundtrack for Space NK’s TV and cinema advertising campaign.

Hukkelberg started singing and playing instruments in her home town of Kongsberg, Norway at the age of 3 and later played in various jazz, rock and free jazz bands including a high school heavy metal act called Funeral. A graduate of the Norwegian Academy of Music, she has also gained a reputation as a powerful live performer, her shows full of typically Scandinavian absurdist humour.

Hukkelbergs’ latest album Rykestrasse 68 was released in Europe March 2007. Hanne Hukkelberg did an extensive European tour for 3 months with her full band during spring (april – june). Hanne Hukkelbergs’ albums will be released in North America in february 2008. She will be touring North America, South Pasific and Asia first half of 2008.

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