Tuesday, December 12, 2017

“S.A.D.” by Norma – A Song Review

     The intro of “S.A.D.” begins with undisciplined guitars, until the rhythm joins and imposes structure. The percussion and bass define the framework for the reverb guitar and the melodic-speak vocals, but there is flexibility. The rhythm is relentlessly energetic and focused on time, while the guitar is more concerned with space and taking an atmospheric approach.

      “S.A.D.” is a story about an inner demon. The three-member band, Norma, names him Neil. According to the band, Neil is “a figure that appears especially during the darkest season. We probably all have our personal devils, [whether] we want them or not, it’s just about learning how to live with them.”  

     The lyrics describe reasons for optimism. Neil took his own life; that is with the help of a psychologist and a kitchen knife. He still surfaces, but he can be controlled with a bottle of wine. The video is more disturbing, as Neil talks to and plays with preschoolers. So, Neil has been a dark passenger since the early years?  And he is healthy as he steadily travels with his belongings in a makeshift vehicle alone a country road and as he is empowered in a dream world.

     The members of Norma are Love Martinsen (guitar, keyboard, bass pedals), Erik Vallin (bass, keyboard, vocals), and Petter Bendelin (drums, keyboard, vocals). They are based in Stockholm, Sweden and identify their genre as Swedish Kraut-Rock. “S.A.D.” will be a track on the band’s third album, which is scheduled to 2018. 

     “S.A.D.” by Norma

     Scenography, costume and makeup by Emilia Esping. Photo by Norma and Nadja von Bahr. Edited by Fredrick Stewart Holm. Thanks to: Johannes Helje, Förskolan Enbacken, Björn Söderman and Joel Jedström (cirkus cirkör).

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