Interview, Music

Øyvind Holm’ new album ‘Paradox of Laughing‘ got its vinyl release in Norway today

Photo: Olga Bushueva/IHTLNY

After 2022s critically acclaimed ‘The Unreliable Narrator‘, Øyvind Holm follows up with a new album, ‘Paradox of Laughing‘.

Øyvind Holm: The songs on this one just sort of grew out of the previous album sessions. I never really stopped writing. Pretty early on, however, I sensed that these tracks needed a slightly different approach. Where parts of ‘The Unreliable Narrator‘ had drawn its inspiration from the somewhat dark synth landscapes of the 70s, this one probably plays more on my fascination with late 60s pop music, often with light psychedelic undertones. 

Several of the songs are built around more acoustic arrangements, then we have added string arrangements, backing voices and the occasional exotic instrument to give them a more grandiose sound.

As with every release on Crispin Glover Records a lot of thought has been put into the packaging.

Øyvind Holm: The release comes as a deluxe edition on green vinyl and a very elaborate ‘split opening‘ cover. The design and layout are by Håvard Gjelseth, while the cover art is by the German artist Marco Wagner. It has two illustrations of me, one where I’m smiling and one with a grumpier expression. And with the split opening front you can either see me smile or wear a frown, or a combination of the two – the paradox of smiling 

The album got the title ‘Paradox of Laughing‘. But what does this title mean?

Øyvind Holm: For me, I guess it means that we are living in a world where all kinds of horrendous, evil shit goes on. I sometimes find it hard to take in what humans are capable of doing to each other. And the paradox lies in the fact that we in spite of all that are able to smile, laugh and enjoy ourselves. I understand that it’s probably a good vent in our mental system, but even so, it often fills me with guilt.

The album was released today only on vinyl and only in Norway. The international release on vinyl and digital platforms will take place in January

Øyvind Holm: As always when dealing with vinyl, things don’t always turn out according to the planned schedule. The promoters and distributors abroad need a bit more time to get things settled, but I’ve been impatient and ready for months already. So, that is why we chose to do it this way.

‘Paradox of Laughing’
All words and music by Øyvind Holm, except:
‘Paper Tigers‘ words by Øyvind Holm / music by Øyvind Holm and Alexander Pettersen
‘Must Be A Way‘ words by Øyvind Holm / music by Øyvind Holm and Thomas Henriksen
All songs © Surf The Clouds Music 2023

Engineered, produced and mixed by Pål Brekkås at Brygga Studio
Mastered by Magnus Kofoed at Øra Mastering
Cover art by Marco Wagner
Cover design by Håvard Gjelseth
String arrangements by Mari Persen
Released with financial support from Trondheim Kommune and Fond for utøvende kunstnere

The Band:
Øyvind Holm – lead & backing vocals, el & ac guitars, keyboards, tibetan singing bowl, musical saw
Pål Brekkås – bass, mellotron, piano, synths, percussion, tibetan singing bowl, backing vocals
Arve Gulbrandsen – drums, percussion
Thomas Henriksen – moog one, piano, wurlitzer, hammond b3, synths
Alexander Pettersen – el & ac guitars, e-bow guitar, tenor guitar, mellotron, keyboards, mandolin, autoharp, lap steel, drums, percussion

Additional Musicians:
Vegard Lien Bjerkan – hammond b3 on ‘CCTV‘ and ‘Flies On The Window Sill‘
Hans Hadders – sitar, tambura and tabla on ‘Paper Tigers‘
Kirsti Huke – backing vocals on ‘August 1969‘, ‘Paper Tigers‘ and ‘Big Plans (All Over Again)‘
Bjørn Klakegg – lead guitar on ‘Paradox Of Laughing (pt.1 & 2)‘
Mari Persen – strings on ‘Beyond Stations‘, ‘Paper Tigers‘, ‘Flies On The Window Sill‘ and ‘Paradox Of Laughing (pt. 1 & 2)‘
Roar Øien – pedal steel on ‘August 1969‘