It all began with the song “Take On Me“, yet more than thirty-five years on, the music of Norwegian synth-pop band a-ha has continued to endure. As a band, a-ha remains highly regarded, not least because of its outstanding musicianship and masterful songwriting. Whereas, Morten Harket remains an unsurpassed vocalist in his field. His unmistakable voice feels like a childhood friend to me. That on the positive side, is always around when I need, to seek comfort in their voice and is not much altered by time. Reliable and unwavering. After a lifetime of waiting. I had hoped I was going to have my chance at experiencing a-ha live for the first time at their “Hunting High and Low” 35th anniversary tour, this year. Alas, Coronavirus, illness and fate had other ideas.
To this end, something soon came along to cheer up my disappointment in missing out the above mentioned. This was that the Norwegian legends announced their upcoming album, “True North“, and the first majestic single lifted from it, “I’m In“.
“True North” is set to be a spectacular undertaking from the band. The band’s 11th studio album was recorded in 2021 in Bodø, the Norwegian city located 90km above the Arctic Circle. For the release specifially they have also commissioned a “True North” film to be made. A press release advises. “The multidimensional film describes a narrative arc embodying the spirit of the new songs, showing how all of us are connected to the environment”.
In this album, a-ha allow us into their world. Sharing insights into their Norwegian roots and homeland. While also allowing us to see the group dynamic and musical processes first-hand.
Dropping the second song of the new album cycle, “You Have What It Takes“. The Magne Furoholmen penned and produced track is an intimate look into the world of a-ha. They appear at their most vulnerable ever on the latest track. In this beautiful song, they share their life-learned wisdom “Don’t be afraid to fall or fail. Learn to make better mistakes. It’s hard to look beyond the pale. But, oh, what a difference it makes. “You Have What It Takes“. Is an empowering and encouraging message from a-ha
Yet Morten Harket’s heavenly, transcending voice still pulls at the heartstrings and simultaneously, raises goosebumps.
First thing to remember is. These three Norsemen have been slaying since 1985. In the same fashion. The new songs are proof positive they still have the power to slay in 2022. They set an example to Nordic emerging artists that they too can reap a successful career in music and go the distance as they have.
The album “True North” comes out via RCA on October 21st – Pre Order – HERE