Norwegian singer and songwriter Torgeir Waldemar released No Offending Borders last year to wide critical acclaim. Mike Davies, in his FRUK review, described the album as great contemplative depth. Songs of such maturity often benefit from a fresh canvas of sound which can open another level of the song to the listener. This is something Togeir is no stranger to as he has continuously played different versions of the songs live and now in the studio.
On Torgeir Waldemar’s latest album, Jamais Vu, he pulls apart tracks from his previous two albums and breathes new life into them. ‘Jamais vu’ is a lesser known notion than ‘déjà vu’, and its meaning is quite simply the opposite. Where ‘déjà vu’ is a new experience that feels well-known, ‘jamais vu’ means that a well-known situation or experience feels unknown or new. This is hopefully a feeling listeners familiar with these songs will experience. Listen to his new electric version of Streets which featured on his eponymous album of 2014. The gentle swaying sounds of the original are given more energy making the words that much more insistent and poignant.
In interviews, artists often tell us that once they’ve released a song out into the world they take on a life of their own. This is something Richard Thompson touched on in his interview with us for Acoustic Classics II in which he took some of those electric songs and made them acoustic. “As a songwriter, you’re revisiting your songs periodically and I think you learn to reinterpret them and find different things in them.” This is a sentiment that’s clearly shared by Torgeir:
“Songs never stand still, at least not for me. They want to go on. After some years of playing them live, many have moved far away from where their starting point was. That’s why I often experience Jamais Vu and that’s how this release was born.”
On Jamais Vu you’ll hear Sylvia (Southern People), Among The Low and Summer In Toulouse from Torgeir’s latest album, No Offending Borders, in acoustic versions, and Streets and Take Me Home from his self-titled 2014 debut album in electric versions with larger arrangements. You’ve heard the songs before, but you have never heard them like this.
Jamais Vu is released on March 9th via Jansen Records.
Photo credit: Julia Marie Naglestad