LOWER YOUR GUARD
release: september 27 2019.
After a year of extensive touring and seven days in the studio with Ola Kvernberg, Relling has made an exceptionally strong album debut in which music, lyrics and inspired creativity go hand in hand. The album consists of eight original songs that features improvisation, tight playing and a finely tuned expression, honed by four fascinating musicians from the Norwegian pop and jazz scene. Relling's debut is a dynamic and coherent album by an experienced and exciting band.
The music is a powerhouse of catchy grooves and explosive guitar effects that blend with beautiful vocals and a grandiose organ and synth soundscape, resulting in a sound exploring the boundaries between indie, pop and jazz.
"Lower Your Guard" features of music with a broad appeal, while also challenging the listener with nuanced detail. It is a most personal album debut, with lyrics inspired of frontman Harald's own life. The songs delve into themes such as longing, caring and frustration. Relations and relationships are recurring themes, exploring how tension between closeness, distance and dreams can deprive a young man of all hope.
The title "Lower Your Guard" plays on being open to new impulses, relations and situations in life. The album was written in a time when egocentricity is increasing in society, challenging healthy relations and the individual's outlook on the world. Relling has developed a unique sound in which the organ is the carrying bass instrument and ethereal synth lines weave together forming ordered chaos. The band plays with surprising harmonic shifts and rhythmic contrasts, which tears the music out of the standard pop/rock segment.
The members of Relling met at the jazz program at NTNU in Trondheim and formed the band in autumn 2017. Since then, Relling has performed at some of the country's biggest jazz festivals. The band advanced to the final of the “Jazzintro 2018” and was in the running for "Young jazz musicians of the year" at Moldejazz 2018. Members of the band can also be found in different Norwegian projects such as Thomas Dybdahl, The Fjords, Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, Kristian Torgalsen, Moten Stai and Lukas Zabulionis to mention a few.
HARALD RELLING NIELSEN - VOCAL
VEGARD LIEN BJERKAN - HAMMOND ORGAN & SYNTHS
TORE HODNELAND - GUITAR & PEDAL STEEL
ÅSMUND MATTIAS SMIDT - DRUMS
PRODUCTION // OF 146
Recorded in June and September 2018 by Håvard Soknes in Sørgården Studio, Ler
Mixed by Mattias Glavå in Kungsten Studios, Gothenburg
Mastered by Karl Klaseie in Øra Mastering, Trondheim
Cover art by Josefina Anjou
Cover design by Harald Relling Nielsen
Produced by Ola Kvernberg and Relling