With their debut EP now only a couple of months away, the latest single from up-and-coming Norwegian indie rockers Charlotte & Thieves, “The Machine,” offers a tantalising glimpse at what’s to come from the band. For a group still very much in their infancy, they are one very much on the rise at home in Norway, garnering coveted spots on streaming playlists as well as plays on National radio station NRK.
And from listening to “The Machine,” it all seems pretty justified. It’s a slow burner of a track, starting simply with a warm vocal/bass combo, but really builds and gains momentum as it progresses. The track has a great groove, and vibe, from the lead singer Michael Besseberg’s vocals, through to that wonderful bass line from Andreas Rukan. You can get a sense of their influences, but with “The Machine”, the band have managed to get that perfect balance of the new and the old.
Lyrically, the song is an impassioned defense of following through on our artistic potential, to not get bogged down in the monotonies of everyday life. To embrace what brings you joy, and to not get ground down by the machine. Yet, so many of us feel forced to hide and suppress our artistic sides in favour of the beigeness of the 9-5. Besseberg, when talking about the song, described himself as a perfect example of this: “I didn’t dare touch my artistic side until I was nearly 20…and I’m sure plenty of my friends are still unaware of what they can achieve.” Though, as with all those classic rock and roll songs of the sixties and seventies, this is all directed to an unnamed female protagonist.
“The Machine” is a promising glimpse at what’s still to come from Charlotte & Thieves. Based on this song alone, I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for that EP when it drops. Give it a listen.