Sirka Ragnar – I Am, You Are, He/She/It Is EP
You may remember a while back, as part of Unearthing MySpace Gems, I featured Norwegian indie/electronica duo Sirka Ragnar. Well, the guys were very kind and sent me a copy of their debut EP I Am, You Are, He/She/It Is. I will warn you now that I may well run out of superlatives to use on these guys!
So, as I mentioned previously, Sirka Ragnar are Marius Grøtterud and Kenneth Silseth from Oslo, Norway. They make indie electronica rock that makes me rock, and will in turn no doubt make you rock. Sirka Ragnar have a unique ability to blend genres and sounds in such a way that it seems as if they were cast from the earths core as one pure compound from the start. The EP, as you can probably guess, is fantastic. What a brilliant showcase of sounds and vocals. If there is one thing I can really appreciate from music, it is being aware of how complete a track sounds – this is the point at which a track is no longer a track, but a composition, and a complete composition at that. To feel fully immersed in what you are hearing, the subtle blend of samples, sounds, vocals, is to feel aurally satisfied (yes… I said aurally, not the other word!).
The EP is five tracks long and is made up of; Keep It Yours, (In)Here, Nove Stereo, Port Now!, and Eim At You. Keep It Yours has a great melody and a kicking drum arrangement. It’s a real electro-rock anthem, the style of vocals reminded me ever so slightly of Fun Loving Criminals, but in a less jokey incarnation – either way, accept that as a compliment. The second track (In)Here has a really strong vocal line commanding the proceedings. I like the energy to this one, it’s like a more explosive/upbeat version of an Eels track. The culmination of sounds is beautiful, the term “organised chaos” sprung to my mind. Nove Stereo is the track I singled out back on my Gems feature, back then (and I’ll quote myself!) I said; “Nove Stereo is a real pleasurable aural experience. Precise electronic samples, paired with a sturdy bass-line, and solid (yet soft) vocals.” – I stand by my words. The penultimate track on the EP is Port Now!. Loving the electro element to this track, solid drums too. It’s a very funky and catchy track – the recorder samples are a nice touch, and in that sense it reminded me of the slightly heavier Badly Drawn Boy tracks. Not enough people use a diverse array of instruments, but they should, because done properly the results are fantastic – as Sirka Ragnar have shown. The last track is Eim At You, the electro drum pattern works very well on this one, plus the trumpet samples go perfectly with the vocals. Eim At You got my head nodding like one of those dogs on the back dashboard of a car. I can imagine this track appealing to a large variety of people, it’s very upbeat. Allow me to share…
Sirka Ragnar – Eim At You
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This download is a sample of the music only and must be deleted from your computer within 24 hours of downloading. This download link will expire on 20th July.
Sirka Ragnar were actually only formed in December 2004, when Marius and Kenneth first met. As well as themselves, they also enlisted the help of ex-Jaga Jazzist members for the EP, to add a bit of brass! That was in the form of Lars Wabø and Ivar Chr. Johansen, masters of the trombone and trumpet, respectively. The guys actually describe their own sound as; “Two spoonfulls of dirty low-fi, a hint of good old indie and a touch of tweaked electronica.” - I hate making comparisons, but above I mentioned Fun Loving Criminals (god knows why, it really doesn’t stretch any further than that one vocal), Badly Drawn Boy (mainly for the melodies and use of instruments), Eels (for that whole eclectic organised chaos thing) – but I could also mention names like; Jaga Jazzist, Four Tet, Prefuse 73, Explosions In The Sky, etc… But, cliché comparisons aside, Sirkar Ragnar most definitely have their own unique sound.
Alas, my fine fellowship of readers, don’t “sleep on it”, if you like what you read and hear, get it bought. I Am, You Are, He/She/It Is can be purchased at CDON.com now. Remember to check out the Sirka Ragnar MySpace page and website – and let the guys know what you think of their music – plus please visit the website of their label How Is Annie Records. If I had any money I’d place a bet that these guys will be big very soon, they definitely deserve it.