Simen Loe’ new album ‘The Neighborhood’ out today via Mother Likes It Records
Photo: Bjørn Thomassen
‘The Neighborhood’ is Loe’ second album. The debut album ‘Pioneer’ was released in 2018 and received a lot of good reviews. The new album is released digitally and available on all streaming services. Vinyl has an expected release in January 2023. Below you can read the interview with the singer-songwriter
Your new album is named after your backing band “The Neighborhood”. What was behind this choice?
My backing band is called The Neighborhood and I felt it would be cool if the album was named as a tribute to them. Everyone in the band participated a lot this time, with arrangements and thoughts; about the songs, the sound and the expression.This album felt one hundred percent a band effort, and I therefore found The Neighborhood as a perfect name for the album.
What was your main inspiration for this particular album?
To try and make a better and more varied album than the first one. I`m really proud of the debutalbum (Pioneer, 2018) .I wanted to keep some of the moods and the best of that world and bring it into a new world , which had a bit more varied sound and vocals. Still with a hope that people will recognize it immediately as me and my band`s music. I personally feel we have achieved that, and I hope people who hear the music will feel the same way. The lyric-universe is quite familiar on the two records I think, but the new album feels a bit more rock and a bit more outwardly than the debut.
You say that you have been working a lot on vocal performance during recording the new album. Could you tell us a little more about it?
I wanted to use more of my vocal range on this album. Over the years I have played in several bands and used my voice in various music styles, from pop to metal. To use my range more was also a main inspiration for this album, how to crack that code; to sing more varied on this album than the debut, but still feel that it fits together. When we play live I feel that I have accomplished this, as the old songs and the new songs blends well. It still sounds like us. The vocals also came a bit naturally, as we were arranging the songs with all five of us in the room. With drums, and guitars and bass amped up, it felt natural to sing a bit higher and more powerful on some of the songs.
Could you pick up one of maybe a couple of songs from the album which is the most significant for you and tell us the history behind it?
I would have to say “Pistoleer”, the fourth song on the record. We tried so many different versions and tried so many different approaches before we nailed it. We worked really hard on that one. And when we finally cracked the code I was so happy with the result. The lyrics, the arrangement and the vocals. I felt I found something special with my voice on this one, from deep dark to higher range within the same song without having to push my voice in any way. And it was all done in one take, which I feel you can hear. I think this song is the perfect “bridge” between the debut album and the new album.
The Neighborhood” will be released digitally on September 30th. But we can also expect to get the album on vinyl in January 2023. Why is it so important for you to get your album released in some physical format?
As a vinyl junkie and collector I have to have my albums pressed on vinyl. It means a lot to me. For me, the album format is far from dead as I listen to vinyl all the time, and almost everytime I spin a record I listen to it from start to finish. I want people to have the possibility to do this when they hear my music. It´s an album, not just a bunch of songs. And I have put a lot of thought into that, the order of the songs, the stories in the songs etc, to hopefully give people a good musical experience.
Do you have any concert plans after the release of your new album?
We are actually gonna do two release concerts the weekend the album is released. The first one in Mjøndalen (Portåsen, 30 September), the town where I grew up. The second one in Hamar (Gregers, 1 October), the town where I have lived the past 15 years. We are currently working on more dates and hopefully a tour. Hope to see you out there!
All songs written by Simen Loe and Ola Foss Eriksen except “Shotgun House” written by Simen
Loe, and “King” written by Simen Loe, Ola Foss Eriksen, Atle Johannessen Sjørengen, Anders
Eng, Lars Marius Brenne and Odd Arve Nicolaisen.
Produced and mixed by Fredrik Ryberg
Mastered by Fridtjof Lindeman
Cover art: Tanja Neverdal