Meet Danish trio Noréll, the latest techno-pop bambinos to enter our music sphere. Following the success of dark singles Howl and The Great Escape, the troika have seemingly ditched the doom and gloom with their latest release Damage Done. The record is a saccharine Scandi-pop cornucopia that is bursting with piquant female vocals, trap-inspired beats and layer upon layer of carefully thought-out synths.
On around the third listen, you are left bopping your head and doing a sort of high-pitched wailing, aiming to mimic singer Marie Louise Persson Bjarnarson’s angelic mew. It is impossible to ignore the similarities between Noréll and their Scandinavian neighbours MØ and Tove Lo, but Noréll do have a little catching up to do. Damage Done is not naïve or so inoffensive that it is lacklustre, but it will be difficult to match the recognition that the other two Scandinavian powerhouses have gained. With these two competitors already climbing the charts, teaming up with pop sensations and gaining well-deserved recognition in the UK, one must ask if there is room leftover.
Damage Done has an abundance of attitude, with lyrics such as, “You don’t care, you’re hooked until the damage done,” stratified over producers Viktor Hagner and Nichlas Malling’s techno beats. It is all slightly fussy, but admittedly, the release packs a punch and fulfils its aim to get you on your feet. It would be intriguing to access an acoustic version of this song, to see if the stronger elements it possesses carry over without the relentless production.
Noréll have already created a splash in their native country Denmark, with Damage Done being named national radio station P3’s Pick of the Week. The theatrical accompanying video was directed by London-based director-choreographer Tobias Ellehammer, embellishing the track with thespian dancing.
Noréll are not for everyone, and it may be a while before they integrate the upper end of our charts. But for advocates of unapologetic, dynamic techno-pop, this refreshing trio are worth a listen. It will be great sticking around to see if Noréll not so much break the mould, but shatter it to smithereens like they so clearly want to.
Words by Samantha Ewen
Photograph by Hugo Jozwicki