Review: Faye Wildhagen – “Let's Keep This in the Family”

Review: Faye Wildhagen – “Let's Keep This in the Family”

Pop/rock music


February 16, 2024

Mark record:

Warner music

Great third service.»

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“Coming-of-age novel”

She released tracks in 2018 and 2021, but “Let's Keep It In The Family” is her first solo album since “Borders” in 2018. It's taken her a while to make a comeback.

“I lived a life apart from myself, and I had to become friends with my own story in order to tell it,” says Wildhagen. She describes the album as a “coming-of-age novel.” In audio form.

Beautiful details

Each song is an elegantly crafted piece of work, with exciting arrangements, subtle details and transitions, and a mix of pop and rock interspersed with a little jazz and funk. Before you is Wildhagen's haunting, fragile voice, which occasionally vibrates lightly and draws you in. Sometimes, like in the title track “(Let's keep it in the family)”Thoughts go to Tuva Syvertsen.

“Hymn” slides out elegantly “reverberation”, a gem of a song that will remain one of the greatest songs of the year — regardless of whether we're only in the middle of February. The contrast couldn't be greater. Here, 18 musicians plus herself play vocals, guitar and composition.

This is a bit like the way she says she worked: she invited friends into the studio and opened her doors to improvising and jamming. The result is something completely different from jam!


People like Christopher Lowe (flugelhorn/piano), Ola Kvernberg (violin/cello), Sondre Gustad (vocals), Anne Brun (vocals) and Markus Jagerstedt (piano/synth) appeared there. Other contributors are guitarists Hakon Bronborg, Tommy Christiansen and Halldór Ruen, guitarists Andreas Haga, Tor Egil Krijken and Erland Dahlen on drums, percussion, brass etc. She keeps it in the “family.” 23 people are credited as musicians and eight as singers – including the dog Timian. The soundscape is so delicious that it is a joy to listen to.

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Drink before each episode

Drink before each episode

Alone in Valdres

But Fay and Timian were also alone a lot, “taking life and history seriously,” she says — in the studio, in the mountains and on a small farm in Valdres (which many have probably seen in Dagsreven recently). With one exception, she also produced and arranged everything herself. Öystein Greaney and technician Michael Hartung contribute “a reason”, a lively, Fleetwood Mac-like treatment I wrote with Greaney. His airy Rickenbacker guitar is unmistakable.

In some small interludes/curtains of sound we hear, among other things, old recordings of Wildhagen and the family – talking, birds chirping and subtle musicality of them that slide seamlessly into the next song and tie it all together. It is difficult to comprehend everything that is said, and perhaps that is the intention.

I have matured

Wildhagen is certainly recognizable from “Border” (2018) and “Snow” (2015). The soundscape and atmosphere are more or less the same, but it's as if she searched and found a source that wasn't there before. She has matured as a songwriter and gained the necessary confidence as a producer. At the same time, the music has become more accessible without giving away “itself” and even though there may sometimes be more challenges in the music. But then it's done so brilliantly, and she's also 'cooked' together a bunch of exceptionally good songs here.

Finally the guitar hero woke up

Finally the guitar hero woke up

In addition to the best ringtones “Echoes”, “Reason” and… “Back home” Among others, there are songs such as “I might be a stranger to you”which turns it from a light blast into a full blast with four guitarists, banjo, violin and brass, “I don't know where to go”, “wet pants” With just Faye on vocals, electric guitar and programmed drums “our” Which assumes gigantic proportions in the end. When the album ends nice and quiet with the title song, you wonder a little what you've gotten yourself into, and have to start over.

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Øya tour and concert

2024 could be Wildhagen's big year, with a new album, a Norwegian tour starting on February 29 and a main stage concert at Øya on Saturday, August 10. This means that it actually started on December 1 last year, when she released the album “Møtested – A Tribute to Anne Grete Preuss”. Wildhagen's good friend passed away in 2019.

She produced the album with nine Norwegian artists plus herself. There she also undertook the “daring” task with Scar to record a new version of “Now the Sky Is Falling”. Perhaps inadvertently, the original version has become one of our great Christmas carols.

This reviewer gave the album a rating of six. Here comes another one for the resume!

Ashura Okorie

Ashura Okorie

"Infuriatingly humble web fan. Writer. Alcohol geek. Passionate explorer. Evil problem solver. Incurable zombie expert."

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