Norwegian Avant Pop + Performance Artist
Forthcoming LP Out October 14th via DFA Records
"Intricate instrumentation crashing into electronic flourishes, ambient sweeps" – Stereogum
"Absorbing soundscapes and shuddering beats... fragrant vocals" – Clash
“Combines the symphonic with the technology & musical currents of today" – Impose
Acclaimed Norwegian avant garde pop performance artist and stage actor Nils Bech has become a favorite of the art world, performing at such venerable venues and events as Venice Biennial, ICA (London), New Museum (New York) and the Van Gogh Museum (Amsterdam). He has also featured in two plays at the Norwegian National Theater, most recently in Shakespeare’s Richard III; where he performed excerpts from his upcoming album Echo out 10/14 on DFA Records.
Already a star at home, Echo will be Bech's first album with DFA. The album explores "echoes" of the people in his life over the past five years; their search for love, how love can deceive and destroy, but also be the key to everything. Sonically, the record infuses urban, contemporary dance music with hip hop roots - hard beats in juxtaposition to Bech’s vulnerable bass-baritone.
Today Bech reveals the stunning new single album single “Glimpse of Hope”, which is rife with operatic electro-pop and retro-synths in the vein of early Erasure and Depeche Mode as well as his theatrical new video for “Please Stay”.
The video features a scene between Lady Anne and Richard, taken from Shakespeare's' tragedy 'Richard III', as performed at The National Theatre in Oslo earlier this year. The play featured Bech himself as a singing Lord Richmond. In making the video, Bech wanted to capture the magic on-stage between two of Norway’s leading actors, Emil Johnsen playing Lady Anne and Kåre Conradi as Richard III. In juxtaposing a different layer of meaning to the iconic scene and play, Bech reminds us how our relationships always works as foundation for our lives as well as for art itself. Nils says of the video:
"By using this scene for 'Please Stay' I wanted to address the eternal thematic well that art deduct from sorrow, betrayal and loss. The song speaks of the desperation of realizing your partner is leaving you. When the anxiety and sorrow turns into anger, and from begging or trying to talk reasonably, you start yelling. The lyrics in the songs are gibberish 'Please stay.. don’t you leave me now.. don’t go… I’m lost.. somehow… You’ll live your life and I’ll live mine, but I’ll be waiting for you’- repeated over and over again describing the devastation of the one who's left behind.”
"I wanted to make an album where romantic harmonies meet hard beats, with sudden transitions between the painful and the beautiful. Just like love." - Nils Bech
More on Nils Bech
A busy stage actor and singer already well known in his native Norway for three albums released on Oslo’s Fysisk Format, The keys to the seachange lie with Bech’s new collaborator, the young underground DJ, producer and beatmaker Drippin, known for his work with American rap artists such as LE1F and Cakes Da Killa. The keys to the seachange lie with Bech’s new collaborator, the young underground DJ, producer and beatmaker Drippin, known for his work with American rap artists such as LE1F and Cakes Da Killa. As a result, where his previous work was strange, ethereal and otherworldly – completely and utterly unique – Echo throbs with a renewed sense of vigour and urgency, without losing any of the idiosyncratic beauty which marked Bech’s work out before.
The sound created here is strange and immediate. Stuttering sharp bass kicks combine with clanging 5-alarm snare drums made of glass, orchestra stabs and melancholy piano lines jump in and out of the arrangements. These new elements and ideas are married to the already singular voice of Nils Bech, with Echo becoming something new, exciting and 100% Norwegian - homegrown and ready for the world. Just listen to new track “Waiting” for evidence of his truly inimitable vision, as martial drums anchor Bech’s floating, weightless vocals, to create something swoonsome, beguiling and defiantly its own creature.
The music comes to full fruition when performed live, as proven at two packed performances at the 2016 By Larm Festival where Nils was joined onstage by both Drippin & Øyvind Mathisen, who also produced, arranged and played on the album alongside Bech. Make sure not to miss the completely original and striking sound of Nils Bech.