Doors / Einlaß: 19.00h
Start / Beginn: 20.00h
Broen is the name of an Oslo, Mykonos-based quintet who specialize in vibrantly experimental groove-conscious pop. In the band’s native language, Norwegian, Broen means bridge. When the band started in 2011, its moniker was just a name that sounded cool to its founders. However, as the distinct artistic personalities in the collective began pooling their influences, they found it was an apt descriptive term for their bold musical adventures into unchartered artistic territories.
“The name has become a metaphor for us in terms of creating bridges between sounds and musical landscapes that would conventionally maybe not meet,” says vocalist Marianna S. A. Røe. Adds tuba player Heida Karine Johannesdottir Mobeck: “Each time we play, we take the risk to walk together over the bridge that can lead us band members to musical places we didn’t know existed.”
Arm in arm for those fearless sonic odysseys are Anja Lauvdal synths, Lars Ove Fossheim guitar, Hans Hulbækmo drums, Heida Karine Johannesdottir Mobeck tuba, and Marianna S. A. Røe vocals. The five-piece band pens emotive and artfully-abstract poetic lyrics, and composes wildly imaginative pop informed by jazz, funk, psychedelia, electronics hip-hop, and whatever genre members are feeling on any given day. To date, Broen have internationally released 2017’s I Love Art (Bella Union), and 2019’s Do You See the Falling Leaves?( Bella Union).
Broen freely creates in the moment, untethered to sounds, songs, or any artistic expectations. “We love playing together and improvising, like in jazz music,” Heida says. Select Broen musical inspirations include Kate Bush, Paul Simon, The Beatles, Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Noname, Chance the Rapper, Arca, Björk, Yo La Tengo, Nina Simone, Chet Baker, The Police, and Tinariwen. “The list can get very long and can confuse people—it’s easier just to listen to our music and decide for yourself what it sounds like,” Marianna says with a good-natured laugh.
Marianna handles the bulk of the lyric writing, but she freely accepts contributions from the other members. Over the band’s inception, the band has favored oppositional and outspoken concepts informed from a punk perspective, but, as of recently, there has been a move toward reflective lyrics. “The words have evolved to maybe a bit more grown-up way of thinking about difficult and big themes,” Anja muses.
The five individuals in Broen were all familiar to one another before forming the band, and three of them studied at the jazz conservatory in Trondheim. “Norway isn't that big,” Lars points out. Members of Broen were previously in a band called Snøskred, and, in 2012, Broen made its debut supporting that band. “At the time, we all had a need for a new music that was freer and inviting to all different kind of influences,” Lars recalls. Broen released its first album, Yoga, in 2015 on Norwegian Bergen-based label Nabovarsel.
Broen’s artistic continuum has spanned from a punky confrontational vibe to the more organic genre-bending sounds found on its latest, its third album overall, Do You See the Falling Leaves?( Bella Union).
The new album showcases a vibey and streamlined edition of Broen, featuring untreated instruments, punchier songs, infectious melodies, and tighter arrangements. The tracks were crafted in the studio which is a departure for Broen from the band’s tendency to explore compositions live before recording.
Thematically, Do You See the Falling Leaves? explores the concept of connectivity as it relates to nature and as it pertains to interpersonal relationships. “People can use each other and nature around to feel connected instead of lonely,” Anja notes. “In a way, ‘do you see the falling leaves’ then also means ‘do you see the lonely people,’ and that you can open your eyes or reach out a hand.”