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Øya Festival: The Norwegian artists you must see according to the music industry

04 August 2014, 13:02

Øya, Norway’s flagship music festival, returns this week for it’s fifteenth year with a line-up that ranks among the best this summer. While Outkast, Janelle Monáe, Blood Orange and Queens of the Stone Age headline, there’s a wealth of local talent offering a formidable alternative if shaking your ass to “Hey Ya” is getting a bit old.

Not sure where to start? We asked some of the more prolific music industry folk heading out to Oslo’s Middelalderparken this week who they were looking tipping for great things…

Jen Long, Kissability label head & BBC Radio DJ

Robyn & Royksopp

No surprises here. I know it’s obvious but I missed their set at Latitude and everyone raved about it all weekend. I hate missing out.


Again, I’ve missed this gang at a bunch of different festivals and heard nothing but great praise for their indie pop fun. Can’t wait to finally catch them at Øya

Emilie Nicolas

I was recommended this artist by the guys in Chvrches who always have impeccable taste. I love what I’ve heard online and can’t wait to see her live.

Aurora Aksnes

My friend sent me a link to this girl’s music earlier this year and I was blown away. Really. very excited to see how her year pans out, and to catch her live. Frøy, if you’re at the show - beers are on you.


I saw her do a session on Best Fit last year and it was utterly captivating. Really beautiful folk, excited to see how she holds the crowd at Øya.

James Talbut, A&R scout, Island Records

Todd Terje

James also tips…Emilie Nicolas, Aurora Aksness, Farao and Highasakite.

Nigel House, Rough Trade


Lovely voice, I would like to see more live.

Brokeland Bullets

Liking the country feel.

I Was A King

Another female singer but there are so many good ones on this playlist. Nice strings and guitars combination.

Nigel also tips….Highasakite (“I really like that quietly epic pop that Scandanavians do so well”) and Emilie Nicolas (“Great mix of vocals and electronics. Should be interesting.”)

Adam Ryan - The Great Escape

Vilde Tuv

Really into Mine Armer and the collaboration with Stockhaus. Two every different tracks but both exciting. Can’t wait to see her live and hear more music.

O. Martin

Smooth yacht rock inspired sound. Really pleasant well crafted songs.

Astro Sonic

Their debut album got great reviews. Three guys playing spaced out Kraut-ish rock / electronic music. What more could you want.

Comet Kid

Anybody that writes a song from the point of view of a Psychopath is alright by me.

Adam also tips…Aurora Aksnes (“Extremely talented young artist”).

Seb Law, Writer, The Line Of Best Fit


Not a bad that I’ve ever come across before, and now I’m wondering why not! Jazzy, jolly Casiobeat rhythms, languid soft rap a love of autotune – I bet these guys put on a great live show.

King Midas

Reminds me, appropriately of the theme from The Snowman or perhaps M.Craft. Maybe not the summeriest theme for a song, but a luscious sound, full of beautifully-iorchestrated touches. Real ear milk for music nerds.

Bislett Stadion

Proper old-school indie. A little like the Darkness, but let’s not forget that live Justin Hawkins was great fun. Reminds me of classic American guitar bands of the 90s. Fountains of Wayne anyone?

Electric Eye

Putting me in mind of Kula Shaker (now there’s a forgotten name to conjure with), this Norwegian group channel Eastern hippy vibes through resolutely Scandinavian electronica. Bloody fabulous.

Seb also tips…Todd Terje (“This album is one of my favourites of the year for its superlative electronic musical wizardry & wonderment. Seamlessly blending diverse electronic influences, Terje will be unmissable.”),

Chal Ravens, FACT

Aact Rraiser


Astro Sonic

Chal also tips…Royksopp & Robkemyn and Todd Terje

Kem Lalot, Booker at Eurockeennes Festival


A new project with some guys from Motorpsycho ?! I absolutely need to check this band!


I need to see this legendary Black Metal band once at least.

Kem also tips…Todd Terje (“This one of my favorite electro act actually. So I can’t wait to see him live for the first time!”). Highasakite (“I have already seen them at Eurosonic last year. I was not really convinced but I like their sound. So, I will go to see them again.”) and Emilie Nicolas (“A good discover via the Spotify OYA playlist ! Nice voice & Nice songs.”).

Robert Leedham, Drowned In Sound

Fay Wildhagen

Twitching vocals and tremulous guitar, a timeworn combination that never I’ll never stop falling for.

The Pinkertons

Any band that takes their name from a Weezer album is alright by me. Plus, they sound like The Sonics.

Robert also tips Todd Terje (“The man with the best beard in dance music has also made one the year’s finest albums. Is there no end to his talents?”), Farao (“If Karen O’s solo album has a ballad as good as “The Hours” then the world will utter a collective sigh of relief.”) and Emilie Nicolas (“For fans of Banks, Jessie Ware and all things that make your heart swell. Nicolas’ winsome simpering will surely travel far.”)

Phil Harrison, TheQuietus

Daniel Kuammen’s gentle acoustica, Obliteration’s brutal assault, Yoguttene’s slightly deranged toytown rave, Emelie Nicolas’s elegiac synth pop and Aurora Aksnes’s melancholy electro…

Øya begins tomorrow and runs until 9 August:

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