For Fans Of: Solange, Blood Orange, SZA
Norwegian 8-piece Fieh don’t fall into a convenient category. Describing their sound as “soul music with a modern twist”, their discography is a complex journey through soul, R&B, hip-hop, jazz, funk and rock.
The group is fronted by Sofie Tollefsbøl (vocals), who began as a solo artist but found she thrived when working with others. Before long, she recruited friends from music school who matched her musical vision, and is now accompanied by Ola Øverby (drums), Lyder Øvreås Røed (horn), Andreas Rukan (bass), Jørgen Kasbo (guitar), Edvard Synnes (keys), Solveig Wang (vocals, clarinet, moog synthesizer) and Thea Lien (vocals).
The 8-strong band from Oslo had their debut track ‘Glu’ premier on The Fader in 2017, which speaks of liberating yourself from the opinion of others and features the key line “All these old men can not tell me what do do”. Opening up about the track and how she felt senior men in the industry were trying to control her path, Tollefsbøl said “It made me think, ‘I’m a 22 year old girl, how can you know what I should be doing? I’ll have to do this my own way – and I guess I’ll sing about it too'”. The track was also selected to feature on the FIFA 20 soundtrack, racking up its streams on Spotify to over a million.
‘Glu’ became the first taste of Fieh’s enigmatic debut album, which was drip-fed with four more singles over the course of two years, although some had been in the making for far longer. Another stand-out single, ’25’ was written almost six years ago now, when Tollefsbøl was going through a great amount of stress. This song captures the time she was first gaining momentum as a solo artists all while producing her music independently, studying for school and learning another language on the side. ’25’ was the product of stressing out about feeling like she didn’t have enough songs to warrant her platform so she of course wrote a song about stress to compensate.
The album, Cold Water Burning Skin, finally arrived in September 2019, a time when Fieh had fully established themselves as the biggest band (literally) coming from Norway. They poured all their influences into the record, resulting in a modern, youthful collection that burns with attitude and the tight-knit bonhomie that comes from teenage friendships.
Live, the band are also a revelation, often seen dressed in colour coordinated outfits. You can expect gifted instrumentalists who hark back to the age of smoky clubs, passionate fans, and musicians who lived and breathed their craft. Taking their cue from great performers from Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday to Erykah Badu and D’Angelo, their songs have plenty of grit and fuzz, a rough-hewn quality that adds warmth and character. Don’t miss their next grand performance at The Lexington, London next week!fieh / introducing