Bergen, nestled amidst its seven mountains and serenaded by 270 days of rain, has been the cradle for a myriad of musical talents, from the bleak hymns of black metal to the euphonious beats of Røyksopp. In this vibrant sonic environment, Neighboring Sounds weaves its own distinctive threads, echoing the city’s melancholic embrace with their emotionally charged tracks.
The recent unveiling of their album, Cold in the Smart City, is a testament to the timeless allure of Scandinavian emo, reminiscent of legends like Fireside and Starmarket, while also drawing inspiration from contemporary acts such as Feverchild and Fiddlehead.
In essence, the album is a symphony of contrasts – balancing slow, introspective tunes with energetic indie anthems. However, it remains unified in its underlying theme, which is a poignant longing for genuine community and an escape from the impersonal ambiance of the “cold, smart city.”
It’s a sentiment shared by many, but perhaps not articulated as passionately as Neighboring Sounds has. The collaboration with a string of esteemed labels like Friend Club Records, Bcore Disc, and Adagio 830 showcases the band’s far-reaching resonance.
The latest single, “Polis,” offers listeners a deeper dive into the band’s ethos.
On one hand, its vibrant rhythms paint a picture of bustling urban life, while its nuanced lyrics hint at the alienation such an environment can foster. The vocalist elucidates, “The song addresses how compact cities, devoid of space and true social hubs, can make us lose our sense of community, leading us further away from understanding and empathizing with others.”
The accompanying video, crafted by Marcelo Riffo, encapsulates this sentiment, juxtaposing the contemporary architectural marvel of the light rail station at Haukeland Hospital with the vintage charm of the Møhlenpris city streets. It’s a visual commentary on the evolution of urban landscapes and the subtle erosion of community-centric designs over time.
With Cold in the Smart City now available to the world, the band is keen on continuing their musical journey. They’re all set to embark on tours, balancing their passion with familial responsibilities, and are already envisioning their next full-length album. Their dedication isn’t just limited to crafting music but extends to the very ethos of the hardcore scene they’ve been a part of since the 90s.
In the words of the band, “We’ve realized that the values we cherished in our youth – community, connectivity, and genuine human interactions – are as crucial today, if not more.” This sentiment, combined with their undeniable talent, ensures that Neighboring Sounds will remain a voice to be reckoned with in the alternative music scene.
Neighboring Sounds are set to unveil “Cold in the smart city” on October 13th.
This anticipated release will be available across all digital platforms through Sound Fiction. For vinyl enthusiasts, the album will be brought to life by a consortium of international labels: Friend Club Records (US), strictly no capital letters (UK), Adagio 830 (DE), Bcore Disc (ES), Lilla Himmel (N), Sound Fiction (N), and Friend of mine records (JPN).