The fifth single from Norwegian-Irish folk-pop duo Todd & Karen comes in a summery guise of upbeat acoustic folk that’s warm, soothing, and eloquent.
The Kongsberg-based Todd & Karen is composed of neither Todds nor Karens. Instead, the twosome is Øyvind Berge from Norway and Ina Verdi-Ruckstuhl from Ireland, two schoolteachers who got to know each other through work, and after a period of writing jingles for friends and singing at birthday parties, the duo decided to up their game and start making music and recording it professionally. The results are delightful pop tunes that graciously flow between grandiose acoustics and impassioned vocals, usually sung by Øyvind Berge.
Their latest single ‘Norwegian Summer’ is already featured on the official Spotify ‘Nordic Folk’ playlist, and it is not hard to see why. The Beatles-esque arrangement is delicate and sweet and is the first time that Ina Verdi-Ruckstuhl takes the lead vocal duty. The emotion evoked harkens back to Joni Mitchell’s soulful folk-pop in the flower power era. The chorusing effect on Verdi-Ruckstuhl’s vocals in particular carries a lot of that retro value. The lyrics, about the brevity of the Nordic summer, are a call for everyone to enjoy the time at hand while it lasts, whether it be summer or winter.
With a nostalgic composition that features airy chord moves and easy-to-sing-along melodies that get interjected by the haunting section sung by Berge, ‘Norwegian Summer’ is a summertime delicacy that would be just as nice come spring, fall, or winter.