Monday, December 1, 2008

Chasing Marit

I have to take a moment to gush about my favorite singer/songwriter. This is long overdue, as I've been a fan for the past few years and have passed her music around to my friends-- most people stateside have never heard of her. Marit Larsen is a hidden treasure, and once you hear her, you're sure to fall under her spell!

Marit is an award-winning Norwegian artist who's enjoyed plenty of success on European pop charts, though the "pop" designation is hardly worthy of her gorgeous, folksy melodies with lush, sweeping arrangements. Her music is bright, spritely and highly original. I'm hardpressed to find an American comparison, though Jenny Lewis, with her pop-rock-indie-folk-bluegrass hybrid sound, comes awfully close. Marit's voice is reminiscent of Bjork, Regina Spektor, Martha Wainwright, or Sixpence None the Richer's Leigh Nash-- but her gentle, unrefined soprano is even more lilting, and sparkling, and altogether better. Don't believe me? You simply must hear her for yourself. Her first album, Under the Surface, is a glittering marvel of a debut. The Chase dropped last month, and it may be even better. As she promises in "If a Song Could Get Me You," her music just might "change your life forever, too."

The only catch? Marit is big in her native Norway, much of Europe and Asia, but her music is not available in the U.S. (though you can purchase Under the Surface on Amazon.com as an import, which is what I had to do). But I'm hoping that little blogs like mine will help spike a Marit fever over here, increasing the demand for her music to finally reach our shores. Dontcha' think our radios, CD and MP3 players are seriously derpived?

I'm inspired not only by Marit's music, but her cool, Euro-girl vintage-inspired style. And she's not afraid to have fun with impromptu unplugged performances. With her stardom Marit could command huge crowds, but she prefers to pop up in unexpected places! You gotta love a girl that always keeps you guessing!

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