Norway’s Øya Festival has emerged as one of the finest international events in the festival calendar, and now Londoners can get a small taste of the homegrown talent on offer with two special shows and a double A-side split 7″ single. Norwegian singer-songwriter Lucy Swann, whose 2010 debut album La Petite Mort saw her compared in the press to the unlikely pairing of Kate Bush and Beyoncé, is the one to watch from our point of view. Teaming up with the organisers of Field Day and Club NME, Lucy and countrymen Team Me will play alongside UK bands Fiction and Not Squares at London’s XOYO on February 24 and KOKO on February 25. The 7″, featuring Lucy and Team Me, was part funded by international promoters Music Export Norway, and will be available exclusively from Rough Trade shops from February 7.
Both Lucy and Team Me are also set to play this year’s Great Escape Festival in Brighton in May. This year’s Øya Festival takes place from August 9–13. Among the first artists confirmed to appear are Fleet Foxes, Explosions In The Sky, Warpaint, Twin Shadow, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, Matthew Dear and excellent newcomers Razika, whose recent song ‘Taste My Dream’ made out best of 2010 list. Keep an eye on the official website for further announcements.
Another Norwegian name to look out for is Phaedra, the solo project of experimental artist Ingvild Langgård. Newly signed to Rune Grammofon (Susanna & The Magical Orchestra, Jenny Hval), her stunning debut album The Sea is out April 4. Excitingly, according to the press release, The Sea is “the first album in a trilogy that constitutes a lyrical and musical cycle, fragments of homegrown mythology, physical and spiritual metamorphosis, death, the other side and losing your soul.”