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På skive



Innlandet is one of the albums that asks you, in its own gentle way, to surrender and enjoy its precious gems. Once you have done that, you begin to know the meaning of a sweet addiction.

Innlandet (In land in Norwegian) is the Norwegian duo of pianist Andreas Ulvo and vocalist Ingrid Olava. Both Ulvo and Olava are known from their varied activities. Ulvo from the Eple Trio and his collaborations with sax player Karl Seglem and trumpeter Mathias Eick, as well as a skilled photographer. Olava is also a pianist but known more as a singer-songwriter who has covered songs of Simon & Garfunkel, Leonard Cohen, Peter Gabriel, Damien Rice and Adele. Both began to perform together on 2013 but only on 2017 both settled on the name Innlandet. The duo self-titled album was recorded on June 2017 in Kölviken, deep in the forests of Sweden. Ulvo and Olava were recorded simultaneously in the same room, close to each other, with no overdubs.

This intimate setting, located in a beautiful, pastoral natural scenery of the Swedish woods, cemented the essence of Innlandet debut album’s naked, humble atmosphere. Olava and Ulvo strip down well-known songs from their iconic arrangements and transform these songs to their own stories, conscious to the songs dramatic messages but contain the drama in a delicate, reserved envelope that radiates mature, sober intelligence and compelling, poetic elegance.

Olava and Ulvo resurrect American band Toto hit «Africa» (penned by David Paich, Jeff Porcaro). Their contemplative version, naturally, ignores the original, bombastic arrangement and Olava’s commanding delivery stresses much more the political call of the song: «gonna take some time to do the things we never have». The naked, fragile cover of Amy Winehouse’s «Back to Black» sounds now almost as a secular hymn, a plea of mature, experienced lover about troubled relationship. Even the cover of the American folk song «Shenandoah» is totally owned by Innlandet, perfectly rooted in the quiet Scandinavian scenery. The interpretation of Paul Simon’s «Cathy’s Song», first performed by Simon and Garfunkel, succeeds to to capture the poetic, emotional strength of its original version, the heartbreaking, confusion realization of the demise of a love story. Mary Chapin Carpenter’s «Why Walk When You Can Fly» receives playful, folky arrangement that follows its innocent, hopeful words. Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer’s «Moon River» is the only jazz tune covered by Innlandet, and Olava proves herself again as a performer who knows how to make any song her own, without blurring its original contours.

Innlandet cover of the Nordic songs. The interpretation of the Norwegian folk duo Sudan Dudan, «Susann», is done in a powerful manner, almost possessed by the song words. Olva suggests the feminine version of Swedish singer-songwriter Oscar Danielson’s «Besvärjelse (Vi kommer älska dig då)», sounding much more contemplative, less assured than the Danielson delivery of this song. The Norwegian folk song «Om Kvelden» is performed as reverent prayer.

Eyal Hareuveni

Ingrid Olava (v), Andreas Ulvo (p)


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