Oslo-based collaborative pop project Wauwatosa released their latest single, “Good Life”, last week. With guest vocals from Turid Alida Røsten, the single is their first since the release of their debut album Souvenirs in 2018.
By way of introduction Wauwatosa is the brain child of two songwriters and producers: Sigurd Ytre-Arne and Martin Langerod. Both are embedded deep in Oslo’s thriving music scene; and both have a diverse case of collaborators to call upon. In fact “Good Life” is the first in a series of singles to be released this year featuring various friends and collaborators.
According to the band, “Good Life”, is a song that is simply about getting on the phone and talking things out. As vocalist Turid, explained, the song is a reflection of the events of 2020, with the line “get on the phone with me sometime tonight”, written in part as a reminder to the “extremely unsociable ‘pandemical’ version of myself”. “Good Life” is also a continuation of Wauwatosa’s now signature style; a collage of tape-soaked drums, tones, and samples. As Martin [Langerod] states:
“I have a weakness for old, faulty technology — sparkling, noisy, unpredictable — and that was kind of the starting point for the whole track. I hooked up my MS2000 synthesizer and RE-201 Space Echo to the cassette recorder, and just sat there tweaking sounds for hours until I reached the dreamy, glitchy, nostalgic character I was picturing.”
To celebrate the release of “Good Life”, Wauwatosa’s Sigurd Ytre-Arne and guest vocalist Turid Alida Røsten, share with us ten songs from their home country of Norway that have inspired them. Hit play on the playlist below, and read on to find out more about the tracks they picked.
Morten Myklebust “Judgement Day”
Morten Myklebust is an amazing singer, composer, lyricist and guitarist. I mean he is really good at all of those four things. The summer of 2013 (or 2014?) I was young, broke and single, and I remember sitting by the window, looking at the Oslo skyline, listening to this album – every night – before I went to bed.
Jaga Jazzist “Swedenborgske Rom”
I grew up in Seljord, a small town without a record store. Luckily, my very cool cousin from a slightly bigger city (Porsgrunn) gave me hiphop records every Christmas. At the age of fifteen I only listened to either hiphop or metal, but one day, after a trip to Oslo, I came home with two albums that became very important to me: a Jaga Jazzist album and a Big Bang album.
I think I had seen them playing together live on TV. These albums really opened up my musical horizon, and I started digging into Norwegian pop, rock and jazz, discovering that the same people often appeared across genres. If anyone from Jaga Jazzist was mentioned in the booklet, I’d buy it. I became a big fan of the glitchy, complex and strange melodic universe of Jaga Jazzist (their first albums). And then suddenly, when I was seventeen, they released this, and my mind was blown.
Morgonrode “Lilja uti dalen”
My mother plays and teaches Hardanger fiddle, so Norwegian folk music has always been around me. The past few years I have worked (as a videographer) with lots of folk musicians, and I have started actively listening more and more to Norwegian folk music.
I have realised that my way of composing melodies is quite similar to some of the traditional Norwegian tunes, and I think you can hear that on our next single (stay tuned), featuring Selma French Bolstad, one of the members of Morgonrode.
Maria Kannegaard “Sand i en vik (til Pål)”
Maria Kannegård, on grand piano, with her jazz trio. Recorded in the big studio next to our little studio, sometime last year.
Todd Terje “Delorean Dynamite”
This album always makes me dance. It just makes me happy, every time I play it.
Billy Fy “A Light Shine Through”
Maria Kannegård again, but on a synthesiser this time, ten years earlier, and accompanied by vocalist Ingrid Lode. I just love these genius harmonic progressions and beautiful melodies from two of Trondheim’s finest musicians. The cover art is by Rune Nergaard, who did the cover art on our debut EP Luftbrücke some years later.
Espen Reinertsen “Tilpasninger Hos Prestekrage”
Espen is really a favourite of ours. I would really love to see him in the studio working on this music. How does he do it? At the same time I don’t want to see it, just to let it be magic.
Smerz “I don’t talk about that much”
Pulls me into a bubble of rave/melancholy I don’t want to leave with their RnB infused atmospheric techno.
André Bratten “Pax Americana”
Like a picturesque sunset I can put on repeat – I listened to it over and over for weeks at the time when it was first released. Still love it.
Geir Sundstøl “Langen Ro”
This song, this album is sublime. Minimalistic, bluesy, ambient, folk? I don’t know, but Sundstøl’s music makes me want to watch a movie.