‘You Close Your Eyes’, the first single from The Gratitudes’ upcoming EP

Photo: Ingvild Hammer

This Dwight Twilley cover is the first single from the band’ upcoming EP ‘Beans’. And the first one with Ingvild Hammer as lead vocalist. It is not superfluous to add that the single is co-produced by Kvelertak’ Bjarte Lund Rolland. Listen to the ‘You Close Your Eyes’ on your preferred streaming service!

The power pop band The Gratitudes was formed by Atle Egil Knoff Glomstad, better known as Akke of Cockroach Clan, late 2021 with some of good friends from Oslo underground scene – Morten Lunde of Kosmik Boogie Tribe, Magne Vannebo of The Good The Bad & The Zugly and Ingvild Hammer of Lost Luggage / Behind Bars

The band’s debut single ‘Wake Me Up on The Underground’ was released in April 2022. And after intense crowdfunding and great support from the fans, The Gratitudes have been in the studio again and recorded an EP

“It’s all foot to the floor rampage and roll, a mash-up between 70s power pop, sweet harmonies, and punk, if you will” – read the interview with Akke, talking about the new single and the upcoming EP 

‘You Close Your Eyes’ is a cover of the Dwight Twilley song. Why have chosen this one to become The Gratitudes’ new single?

Coincidences, really. We never planned to do a cover in the first place, but I played the song for the others at rehearsals, just because I think it’s brilliant. After we listened to it, the room went quiet for a few seconds, until Morten in a perfectly restrained Morten-way, mumbled: “Ok, let’s do it!”

You can’t go wrong with three chords and great harmonies, so we jammed through it a couple of times. We then figured it would turn out a decent b-side, but after all the three songs were recorded, we agreed on releasing this one as a teaser for the upcoming Beans EP

Ingvild Hammer got lead vocals on this single, while on the previous one it was just backing vocals. What is behind this change? And will lead vocals be her role in the band in the future as well?

Ingvild is an outstanding singer – I can hold a note on a sunny day, if I’m lucky. So the change was just common sense, actually. When recording the debut single, it was basically me asking good friends to do a couple of tunes with me, and fortunately Ingvild said yes to drop by for some backing vocals. But this time around, things were better planned, and someone came up with the bright idea “Why don’t we have the actual singer sing?” So yes, Ingvild remains the lead singer, luckily

‘You Close Your Eyes’ was co-produced by Kvelertak’s Bjarte Lund Rolland. Was this your first collaboration or have you worked together before on other projects? And how was it to work with him?

Bjarte is just fantastic. I’ve never worked with him before, but I believe some of the others have. He’s got everything you’d expect from a musical mastermind; the tonal skills, the wild ideas, the work ethics, the mood swings, and the rare ability to sense from scratch what the complete, finished picture will be

This was particularly evident when recording ‘You Close Your Eyes’. From the moment we hit the first chord, Bjarte got this frantic Phil Spector spark in his eyes, and before we knew it, we were floating around in a four-poster bed of massive sound and goosebumps. He refined this genius approach all through the mixing process. Then Emil Bekkevold put the final mastering touch on it, and it turned out hammock-friendly punk attitude par excellence

The band was formed in 2021 and your debut single ‘Wake Me Up on The Underground’ was released in April 2022. So how is the band doing? And are you happy with the public and press response to your first single?

We’re doing great! Right now, we’re working on material for our debut album, so hold my beer and stick with us. And yeah, the press response and positive feedback we got from the first single, was overwhelming. It’s hard gaining sufficient exposure from single releases only, but people really seemed to appreciate it. A couple of sites even ranked ‘Wake Me Up on The Underground’ among singles of the year

The band’s new EP ‘Beans’ is planned to be released in early summer. How many songs besides the Dwight Twilley cover will be on it? And what could you say about the mood of the EP?

It’s all foot to the floor rampage and roll, a mash-up between 70s power pop, sweet harmonies, and punk, if you will. The EP consists of three songs in three different moods, but most important – it’s unmistakably The Gratitudes.

Bjarte Lund Rolland also plays a wild guest guitar-lead on the EP’s first track, ‘Extinction Bash (where’s the beer?)’. He went all in, and I truly believe this will leave people stunned!

Will the new single and the upcoming EP be released only digitally or on vinyl as well?

‘You Close Your Eyes’ will only be available on digital platforms. The Beans EP will be released on vinyl as well, but we’re not talking immense numbers, so the early bird catches the worm.

The Gratitudes
Ingvild Hammer – vocals
Atle Egil “Akke” Knoff Glomstad – guitar/backing vocals
Morten Lunde – bass/backing vocals
Magne Vannebo – drums/backing vocals

‘You Close Your Eyes’
Written by Dwight Twilley
Recorded at Endless Tinnitus Studio, Oslo, January 2023
Produced by The Gratitudes / Bjarte Lund Rolland
Engineering and mix – Bjarte Lund Rolland
Mastering – Emil Bekkevold
Released via Westergaard Records

Listen to the single here:

Cover art: Ingvild Hammer