Leaving the Village EP releases 13. May 2022 on Westergaard Records
Leaving the Village is an exploration, staying true to the traditional idea of what an EP is. A portfolio of auditory sketches, stretching from intimate folk to indie pop with a delicate blend of synthetic and acoustic tones, that will inform final decisions on a future album from Miss Nöyd.
The effect is that every part in the arrangement has the space it needs to be impactful, especially the lyrics which are given the platform they deserve. This approach works, in part due to the incredible performances of the musicians featured and in part due to the co-production of Andres Barlesi.
track by track
The overarching subject of this collection of songs documents the artist's experience moving from a small isolated community in Northern Norway to the relatively limitless expanse of Berlin.
It's Alright, Honey
It’s alright, Honey is her starting point regarding both its sound and its subject matter. The impression given is reminiscent of her previous releases. It's stripped back and bare. The lyrics paint a picture of someone who needs a change finding the courage to make it.
Run Run Run (Leaving the Village)
Her second single from the EP, Run Run Run (Leaving the Village) builds on the sentiments expressed in ‘It’s alright, Honey’. It describes the tolerance for cruelty that can arise in a community where young people are vulnerable but don’t have the opportunity to create prospects for themselves. The lyrics give examples of alcoholism and bullying but there are many reasons for someone to feel trapped by their home.
Run Run Run (Leaving the Village) is a logical next step when it comes to arranging a record. The song features a traditional setup, guitar, bass, drums, piano, and organ but even though it uses more instruments it still maintains the dreamy wistfulness that is present in her solo performances.
Black Water unpacks her doubts about her decision to move and addresses the juxtaposition between her memory of what her home is, and what it has become. Her memory of home is intertwined with the stunning nature she grew up in, including the vast black ocean that separates her parallel lives.
Sonically Black Water stays true to her acoustic roots but in an unconventional way. The traditional guitar bass and drums are replaced with cello, violin, and harp giving the track a brave delicacy and highlighting how you can do something new while still nodding to the sound you’ve established.
The final song on the EP, Common Ground, explores the freedom of being in a new environment where she can grow and change without the constrictions of what she is perceived to be. This is exhibited in the production of Common Ground which features drums mixed to sound electronic, and synthesizers combined with acoustic cymbal swells and a natural bass tone.
The careful listener will notice the real life elements of cars passing by through the speakers, one of many creative elements mixed in by engineer Enzo Galland. The delicate blend of synthetic and acoustic tones is akin to artists like Anika and Carla dal forno. The lyrics of Common Ground take the form of an internal monologue addressing the fact that along with that newfound sense of freedom comes a pressure to be better, to feel complete.
Leaving the Village is an inspiring demonstration of what can happen when you are brave enough to start again and see what happens.
As Miss Nöyd, Norwegian born Berlin-based Bente Lorentzen creates tender, melancholic and pure folk-rock.
Growing up in a tiny fishing town in the isolated north of Norway, Miss Nöyd was forced to find inspiration in the juxtaposition between the violence of nature and the safe but clammy existence of insular, small-town living.
It's no wonder she was drawn to the artistic opportunities and pulsating energy of Europe’s music-capital Berlin.
Right-click on image to download. All photos by Jeremy Knowles