Americana music is not only big, and growing, in the US, many European artists and audiences have also embraced the roots, folk, country themed vibes. Norway is no exception. Relatively new Norwegian trio, Sweetheart, have embraced the more mellow tones of the Americana feel in their new collection of songs written by lead singer / songwriter John-Arne Gundersen.
The band morphed from it’s origins as a country-rock band, to the more minimalistic and melodic expression of their current style. Originally formed in 2000, the ensemble took a 13 year break before resurrecting the band two years ago. “We started again without the drums and the bass, so it’s much more quiet now,” John laughed, “And a lot less to carry around too.”
Even when the band split up, the idea was always to start playing together again at some point. “I never really quit playing,” John said. “I just kept playing for myself at home, and at small gatherings like weddings and funerals, and such. When we did finally get back together, we had a new drive, and were a lot more inspired, and it was a lot more fun.”
When the band resurfaced, it was a paired down version though, with just three of the original members, and a new edition on vocals, Mette Hardnes. Mette started playing music when she was a little girl, and has played in several bands as an adult.
While they choose to label themselves Americana, John says that a lot of their songs could also be described as singer-songwriter songs. “We’ve been influenced by a lot of different kinds of Americana artists, but mainly our music is very quiet,” John said. “Sometimes our audiences comment on how quiet we are, but that’s the way we like it – that’s the music we’re going for.”
“The Americana scene is growing bigger and bigger in Norway,” Mette said. “We now have several festivals that are Americana themed, and the audience for it is really growing these days.”