Naervaer - Skiftninger ©2001 Ember Music/Prophecy Productions
1. To Plan
2. Døse Dager
3. Vi Så'kke Land
4. 92-tid-99
5. Nummen
6. Bob Dylan Is The Fucking King
7. Sug 99
8. To Oyer...
9. ...To Have
10. En Lonesome
11. Bonus 1
12. Bonus 2
13. Bonus 3
14. Bonus 4
15. Bonus 5

Quirky. There is utterly no other way to describe this project from Norway that is so far in left field that they're actually in the parking lot. Having released an obscure demo and a seven inch record, Naervaer has caught the attention of the most esoteric members of the musical underground and has finally rewarded those folks with this fifteen song full length debut that covers more ground than Black Flag's touring van. There is no easy way to sum up precisely what Naervaer does with their music, but it's all at once mournful, joyous, sensuous and uplifting. Skiftninger is easily one of the most loose, enjoyable and creative releases of 2001, providing the listener with an aural experience that cannot be found elsewhere by any other artist I know of.

Naervaer, for those who require cornerstones and reference points, could be described as one part Kveldssanger-era Ulver, mixed in with occasional bits of Leonard Cohen, southwestern guitar loneliness and an almost film soundtrack methology of capturing mood and vivid imagery mostly within the context of acoustic guitars, sparse percussion, and voice. The band does not hold themselves down to any one formula and that creates a magnificently diverse record that offers the listener a truly complete spectrum and array of emotions to be translated by music. Voices range from light female singing to low, deep Cohen-esque vocals to drunken hootin' and hollerin'. Throughout, the acoustic guitars are expressive and often touching. I keep picturing them recording their music on some lonesome prairie or, alternately, out in a vast desert by a campfire with their voices echoing throughout the night.

Naervaer might be accused of being experimental, but all that is irrelevant. What this band has done with Skiftninger is accurately and wonderfully portray a musical experience with truly honest emotional expression. Listening to this CD is much like a journey and you never know precisely where Naervaer will take you next. Absolutely one of the most recommended CDs so far this year. It's doubtful you will find very many other releases so moving and unpretentious.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 03/2001

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