Sketch

by Ex Norwegian

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about

Ex Norwegian Continues Their Dizzying Ascent With Sketch, Their Second Album Sketch Compliments the Band’s Live Shows With Tunes Full of Sonic Surprises and Intense Energy.

Ex Norwegian takes their name from a Monty Python routine about a dead parrot and while the tunes head Norwegian Roger Houdaille writes have humorous moments, this is a serious band. “I like to say we play art-rock, because there’s a lot of things happening in the music,” Houdaille says. “The songs tend to be in odd keys, with varying tempos and arrangements that go off in all directions. The lyrics are abstract, or dense, or talking about conspiracies, or ways to improve the world - and girls with moustaches. We’re all over the place.”

The first Ex Norwegian song, “Something Unreal”, was posted on MySpace in 2008. A week later, a radio station in Hawaii started streaming the song and the band was invited to perform at the CMJ convention in New York, where they blew the audience away with their stage act. Standby, the band’s first album, introduced Houdaille’s skewed pop vision and their live shows created a groundswell of fan interest.

Sketch, their new record, fulfills the promise of Standby, fleshing out Houdaille’s quirky songs with inventive flourishes from the band - Arturo Garcia, drums; Nina Souto, bass and vocals and Houdaille on guitar and lead voice. “Sketch is a band record, a result of playing together on the road for a year. Everyone contributed ideas to the songs and came up with their own parts. We produced ourselves, doing the drum tracks at a friend’s studio and overdubbing almost everything else at my place in Miami. Some last minutes tweaks were done in Manhattan.”

The songs on Sketch are an eclectic lot, moving from gentle acoustic laments to metallic power pop rockers. Houdaille’s cheery vocal surfs a wave of distorted noise on the opener “Jet Lag.” An explosion of grungy guitars creates an interesting tension with the song’s lilting melody. Souto sings lead on “You’re Elastic Over Me”, a puzzling pop tune that features echoing xylophone, acoustic guitar, synthesized strings and a cascading vocal chorus. “Smashing Time” is the tale of an embezzler thumbing his nose at the people he defrauded from an island retreat. Its crunchy guitars and driving pulse suggests mid-period Kinks. The band’s skewed tropical rhythms – somewhere between a tango and a cha cha cha - make the mysterious lyrics of “Acting On An Island” sound other worldly. Houdaille’s vocals here are mellow and detached, sounding like a crooner comfortable in the embrace of several martinis. “Girl with the Moustache” was inspired by Hole and closes the set with another mash up of hard rock and pop. The guitar break brings to mind Jimmy Page playing a George Harrison lick. The songs on Sketch flow into each other without a pause, capturing the energy of a live show, leaving you slightly off balance and ready for anything, the way all great rock bands do.

“Ex Norwegian came together in Miami Beach,” Houdaille explains. “I wouldn’t write the kind of songs I do if I lived somewhere else. That said, it’s not the kind of music you’d associate with Miami Beach. It’s not electronica, Latin or hip-hop, but being isolated from the bigger rock scenes does lend itself to the creative process in a positive way. Isolated Rock, anyone?”

credits

released November 15, 2011

Produced by Ex Norwegian. Mixed by Keith Freund and Phil Hill except for "Mind Down" by Zach Ziskin.

THE BAND
Roger Houdaille: Guitar, Vocals, Keyboards
Nina Souto: Bass, Vocals
Arturo Garcia: Drums, Vocals, Cuatro, Vibes, Percussion, Guitar

Tracks 1,2,4,6,7 written by Roger Houdaille
Tracks 3,9 written by Roger Houdaille, Arturo Garcia, Nina Souto
Track 5 written by Arturo Garcia, Nina Souto
Track 8,10 written by Roger Houdaille, Arturo Garcia
ALL SONGS PUBLISHED BY THINK LIKE A KEY (SESAC)

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about

Ex Norwegian Miami Beach

Not to be confused with EX HEX, EX COPS or X AMBASSADORS – EX NORWEGIAN is not a fly-by-night indie sensation; it’s more of an institution for irreverent, melodic, smart pop/rock

“Ex Norwegian is easily one of the best pop bands of all time...”
-babysue
... more

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Track Name: Jet Lag
I can't believe what you said to me
I better believe it it's a fact
Taking the pain out of everything
I could say I have no problem with that
And when you're own your own
It's not living, it's not living anymore
I say the same thing most every day
It's only fun if you make it that way
Saving the sun for a rainy day
Is only a good idea when you're insane
Make me insane, make me insane
You're in sane
And when you're own your own
It's not living, it's not living anymore
And when you move your feet
You're just leaving, you're just leaving it up to me
Track Name: Smashing Time
Hard ball got it all
Left the states in a brand new car
Reach the port, standing tall
Wait for captains board
Relax, I wont be back
I've spent all of your hard earned tax
Over the oceans until shore
I'm free
Smashing time my friends
Have a ball
You know you're bound to fall, so long
No need for lies you're all installed
Thanks again, alvidasen
You know its harder than appears
So save your sneers 'cuz I don't hear
Don't try to start no war
Relax, I wont be back
I've spent all of your hard earned tax
Over the oceans until shore
I'm free
Smashing time my friends
Have a ball
You know you're bound to fall, so long
No need for lies you're all installed
Smashing time is here
Have a beer
Celebrate I have no fear
You'll never reach me
You'll never even know I’m here
Track Name: Mind Down
Greed supersedes my wish and desire
Dangle a carrot in front and I’ll just throw it back in fire
Reset when you’re dressed and a flower in power
Afraid of what I might say next I've started a quagmire
Got my thoughts, feelings, controlled
Money media drugs health and roads
don’t mention food and water
I’ll be fine if you don't holler
I’ll be fine if you don't holler
Stress to impress the latest Readers’ Digest
Bring the melon turn the faucet on and undress
Change where you spend your means and a barber
Rock and roll cruise control the goddaughters a liar
Got my thoughts, feelings, controlled
Money media drugs health and roads
don't mention food and water
I’ll be fine if you don't holler
I’ll standby if you don't holler
I’ll be fine if you don't holler
the truth is stranger than fiction
Threat is your bet that you know you can pet
Keep it dry or else you'll find yourself getting wet
Blues in your clues fool the passion of dudes
Send it wire watch rates higher than your current debt
Got my thoughts, feelings, controlled
money media drugs health and roads
don't mention food and water
I’ll be fine if you don't holler
I’ll be fine if you don't holler
I’ll be fine
Track Name: Sky Diving
You said you're a Swedish little woman
But you didn't understand
The question asked wasn't in the palm of your hand
You said you're a British Casanova
But you failed to stand
What she didn't know was it was all your plan
She said you're a real soft pusher
But you don't know why
You never answered no you never cried
It's all equal to the love you had you two
In spite of who was there, you two had to share
It's all equal now, your future's there somehow
Whatever happened to? Whatever happened to the love you had?
They said they're little bit jealous
In the larger scene
It doesn't matter where or with whom you've been
Whatever happened to? Whatever happened to the love you had?
You said nanananana, You said
Track Name: You're Elastic Over Me
Hey hey hey Mr. Doctor man
Fire fire fire look what you brought again
Ship got wrecked over medicine
Hey hey hey what d’ya have to say
Salt drip sweat sun has had its day
Shoot one two hope I get to you
Marble eyes say ok yeah yeah
World is yours and mine
Sea to swim and leave me behind
Hey hey hey ship has sailed and gone
Gone gone gone with the doctors son
Run run run run run run run run run
You’re elastic over me
You’re elastic over me
You’re elastic over me
You’re elastic
Track Name: Seconds
You've got your birthday card
Sitting up there looking tall
And your eyes on a magazine
Things are not quite as they seem
Say, don't let it wait for another day is near
So beautiful, awe you know it's great
You have no faith in me
Bought it all up seconds free
Whats more is more than you feel
Stuck around too long in here
So say , don't let it wait for another day is near
So beautiful, awe you know it's true
So nice, don't think twice
Knowing that you feel the same way too
What in the world can you do?
But stand up and believe and pursue
You're running around with no tracks
Don't stand on them too long intact
Save, what do you say for a rainy day is near
So say, don't let it wait for another day is near
So beautiful, awe you know its so
So nice, don't think twice
Knowing that you feel the same way too
Track Name: Upper Hand
Do what you do you can, say what you ought to do
In this world you're right to
Feel how you want to feel, in that it will appeal
to the fight of your life
When you do what you know you can put down the show
And if you try real hard and stand up for yourself you will see
You're upper hand is showing
The light is on, keep growing
You know your right deep in your heart
Don't throw it in, keep going on
Be who you want to be, live in this century
the frequencies will change
Save what you want to save, don't do what puppets say
For they don't know left, right from wrong
What you do when you do it's all what you create,
and realize with your mind and control your own fate
If you try and don't stay afraid to change the way
of your soul
You're upper hand is showing
The light is on, keep growing
You know your right deep in your heart
Don't throw it in, keep going on
Track Name: Turn Left
Got no time to face no facts
Got no time for this and that
So where I’ll end up? Tomorrow I don’t know
Got no time to face my fears
Got no time shed no tears
When the whistle blows I will it feel it in my ear
Got no time to I love you
Got no time to say I do
When you finally know
Where to find my show
Find it in a place
Nearby Sweden oh oh
That’s where I’m-uh go
Send regards fo sho
laughing all the way to Spain oh oh
When you feel good nothing can go wrong
When you feel good

When you feel strong nothing can go wrong
When you feel good
Nothing can go wrong without a try
When you feel strong
Nothing can go wrong without a sigh
When you feel good
And with your loving chime
You mesmerize to be there
Track Name: Acting On An Island
Acting on an island
Expression far too thin
Nothing you've expected
You’re not in east berlin
Watching closely assumes the role that mainland can't replace
Noting it impeccable with emotions and false face
Dancing on an island
Cross legged on your floor
Feeling like you’ve never
Ever felt before
The silence beckons you to find the reason on this space
But seasons not your best adhere, deserving a tax break
Robbing on an island
Your pants don't fit your waist
It's easier when dark out
They won't tell whose is place
After shocks plead guilty to those knowing of your case
It's possible the impossible, be freed from the human race
Track Name: Girl With The Moustache
Girl with the moustache
Driving off in her Mustang
When she leaves she learns
With her top lip she burns
It's not her grace, it's not her race
It's not her smile or her lifestyle
It’s in her head, in her head
She's all she sees
Moustached beauty
For the girl with the moustache
In her nest amongst the wealth
When she leaps she turns
With her sharp lip she burns
She's in the know, she's in the know
Connect and go, connect to go
In your head, in your head
She's all we see moustached beauty
Girl with the moustache
Driving off in her Mustang
When she leave she learns
With her top lip she burns
She's in the know, she's in the know
Connect and go, connect to go
In your head, in your head
She lets it bare
Ring new affair with her hair
Down the road and down to you and me
And the further it grows
Its left a strangehold on you and me
Within arms reach tangles up around deserted beach
And the moment you stare
It’s obvious you’re in underwearWith the girl with the most stash
Can’t forget the girls with MustangsWhen she leaves she learns
With her top lip she burns
With her top down she rolls
With her hair loose she owns
With her top lip she burns
With another one she goes
Watch out now!
Girl with the moustache
Girl with the most flash
Girl with the most stash