Album Notes - Grand Island - Young Hawk & I

Dispatches from the Highlands

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Nordic November. Four weeks. Four great bands from those northern European lands that always seem to top the lists of happiest countries on Earth. So, over the next month get ready for groups featuring lots of -sons, -sens, -qvists, -bergs, blue eyes and vowels. Plenty of vowels. Spoiler alert: there will be no ABBA.

Today: Norway. Information about Grand Island is scant (...inavian?). The quintet's website consists of a band pic in which each member has one glass and/or lazy eye, and zero content other than links to their empty Twitter account and a Facebook page which doesn't appear to have seen any action since June. That's about two months after their latest album,Young Hawk & I, was released.

What is clear is that the five piece certainly sound like they're having fun. But make no mistake: these Norwegians know what they're doing. The hooks often come closer to the song's end than its beginning and Grand Island's exuberant brand of rock masks the level of detail in the songwriting. Subtle touches demonstrate their musicality, but it's done so effortlessly. The Oslo group's Facebook page notes they enjoy artists like the Grateful Dead, Black Sabbath, and Led Zeppelin. While those groups weren't writing songs like these, isn't it good a Norwegian would?

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