Torun Eriksen's "Luxury and Waste", her sixth solo album at Jazzland Rec, explores

familiar territory in an utterly unfamiliar way.


Where her previous album "Grand White Silk" flirted with arrangements of grandeur, she

turns now in the opposite direction and gives us new songs in an uncompromising, strippedback

sound, shifting between cool, drifting moods and driving pulsating rhythms. Bassist

Kjetil Dalland is her sole companion here, and his subtle yet distinctive style the perfect

complement to Torun's voice, as she invites us into "Luxury and Waste", her most intimate

album yet.


You will find Jazz, pop and soul, singer/songwriter and blues, all combined in Eriksen's

unique and surprising blend. – " I love how music can burst with references, and still have a

distinct sound of its own. And I wanted this album to be like that. I have been searching for

the core of my songs. We cut everything to the bone, were left with the raw and unpolished

and tried to bring this very special light only to be found in the sketches, onto our final

versions of the songs.”


While these arrangements feature one instrument and one voice throughout – a classic

"stripped back" scenario – there is absolutely nothing stripped away at all. As evidence of

this, one has only to look to "Glittercard" (the title track from her 2003 Jazzland debut), here

given the same "sparse" treatment, yet it is as lush and full as the original band arrangement.


Torun’s cool, understated style, always bristling with emotional resonance, delivers the songs

with precision in terms of drama and dynamics, carefully placed ornamentation and

inflections. Meanwhile, Torun's long-time collaborator, Kjetil Dalland, creates a perfect shape

for each song to nestle in, and carries it along, whether with gentle undulations or pulsing

rhythms.


While Dalland's bass provides the majority of the accompaniment, he also brings in his minibass

on "Sliding" and "Dreary Place", adding a whole new sonic spectrum to the sound.

Meanwhile, on "Empty Balconies", Dalland rests while Torun accompanies herself on grand

piano.


The intimacy that the simplicity of the arrangements affords is extraordinary. There is no

hiding place, no elaborate mask of artifice. Truth and sincerity, the pure rendering of the song

and its essence, and a perfect balance between voice and accompaniment: These things make

"Luxury and Waste" a uniquely sublime accomplishment in Torun Eriksen's career, as well as

that of Kjetil Dalland.


If ever any evidence for their songwriting craft was needed, it is here underlined. If ever there

was a demand for evidence of Torun's voice being an alluring, exquisitely beauteous

instrument used with tasteful charm or emotional weight, it is here magnified. If ever any

evidence was required that Kjetil Dalland is a musician of skill and refinement with a keen

ability to carve out the right groove or mood for a song, it is here amplified.


Indeed, if "Luxury and Waste" has an issue, it is that it makes you wonder why this approach

didn't happen sooner. In a body of work spanning 15 years, "Luxury and Waste" may well be

the most outstanding album of them all.







Reviews and press quotes:


Norwegian press about Passage:


NRK jazz (radio): "Torun Eriksen - a world-class artist.


With her third album, Passage, Torun Eriksen emerges as a world-class artist and songwriter - Norway's equivalent to Joni Mitchell."


VG (national newspaper) rates it 5 out of 6: "Torun Eriksen's third album has a deliciously laid-back expression. (...) A superb soundtrack for spring. "


Side2.no (web based lifestyle magazine) rates it 5 out of 6: "Sincere once again."


Trønder-Avisa (local newspaper) rates it 5 out of 6: "Maintains the standard."


Dagsavisen (national newspaper): "the most beautiful album thus far this spring."


TA (local newspaper) rates it 5 out of 6: "Original and sterling."


Varden (local newspaper) rates it 5 out of 6: "Torun Eriksen's third solo album shows an onwards and upwards artist."







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