NO DEPRESSION | SUNNY SOUNDS FROM MARK OLSON AND INGUNN RINGVOLD
A previous effort, Good Bye Lizelle, set the stage for their current collaboration, Spokeswoman of the Bright Sun, a dual effort that finds Olson taking top billing. Regardless, it’s clear that both he and Ringvold took equal roles in the album’s conception and creation, in the songwriting and in the execution (He sings and and plays guitars and dulcimer, she adds vocals, melotron, chamberlin and something called a qanon). Their combined efforts give the album a quaint, chamber pop feel, a sound akin to the band Love, the Left Banke and other outfits of the era prone to bask on the very fringe of flowery ‘60s psychedelia.
While that may not have been the duo’s entire intent, the results work well, Olson’s wistful vocals, gentle harmonies and wide-eyed outlook conveying a paisley pop sound that’s somehow both whimsical and reflective. The songs — “Dear Elisabeth,” “Time of Love” “Nicola” and “All My Days” in particular — also bring to mind hints of the Incredible String Band in their lilting gait and angular execution. Still, comparisons should not negate the easy, affable tones and the sumptuous serendipity fully displayed here. Indeed, this Spokeswoman has substance to share.
“With Olson’s work there is innocence, melancholy and often beautiful melody, which is accentuated by his partner’s chamber “string” arrangements on mellotron. The lyrics are profound… The music carries real charm” – Irish Times
“Sun-drenched. Hand-crafted psychedelic pop.” – Uncut
“Wonderfully profound.” – FolkWords UK