Tuesday, April 16, 2024

The Congregation Acoustic with Leprous’ Einar Solberg

Following the release of his debut solo album, 16, last summer, Einar Solberg frontman with Norwegian rock mavericks Leprous has a new album out in The Congregation Acoustic via InsideOutMusic.

If the title sounds rather familiar, it should. Back in early 2022, Solberg took on an entirely different solo endeavour. For a special live streamed performance, he reinterpreted the Leprous album The Congregation in full, just piano and voice and now that event has been officially released in audio format.

“I’m both super excited but also kind of terrified for me to release this live version of The Congregation,” said Solberg. “It’s raw and unedited and exactly how I did it on my livestream. Usually all musicians these days (myself included) are used to fixIng stuff in post-production, but on this one we’ve done nothing! I think it’s cool sometimes to dare to show a more fragile and less perfect side of yourself. The Congregation is probably the least suitable album we’ve ever done to make an acoustic version of, but I think it turned out surprisingly OK!”

Featuring cover artwork shot by Elena Sihida, The Congregation Acoustic is available as a limited CD digipak, limited gatefold 180g Black 2LP & as a digital album.

Celebrating its release, a new video for the track ‘Red’ has been launched, that you can check out here at RAMzine, as you can for  ‘The Flood’ and Within My Fence’. The Congregation Acoustic itself can be ordered by clicking here.

Einar Solberg is renowned for a tender honesty to his lyrics as he is with the eccentric majesty of Leprous’ music. But even by his usual standards, his solo debut album 16 was described as “an extremely emotional and dynamic piece of work”. Solberg himself described the record as: “The closest I’ve ever come to writing a concept album” and explained that those songs were about a very specific and transformational period in his life. As some have expressed it, “The sound of a restless spirit in his absolute element.”

16 found Solberg  collaborating with everyone from modern prog contemporaries like Bent Knee’s Ben Levin and Agent Fresco’s Toti Gudnason, to experimental cellist (and regular Leprous live musician) Raphael Weinroth-Browne and Magnus Børmark, best known as a member of Norwegian alt-folk troupe Gåte. He also once again collaborated with Ihsahn and Star Of Ash amongst others. The record was mixed by mixed by Adam Noble (Placebo, Biffy Clyro, Nothing But Thieves) and mastered by Robin Schmidt (The 1975, Placebo The Gaslight Anthem, , etc.). Sihida also designed the cover artwork for this record that is available in various formats from here.

Leprous is currently on the final leg of the band’s Aphelion tour in Europe, including three UK dates with Nordic Giants: 1st March at Rock City, Nottingham, 2nd March at Project House, Leeds, and on 3rd March over in Dublin, Ireland at the Academy.

Thereafter, Solberg will perform a solo acoustic tour in South America, and with his live solo band perform at various festivals internationally.

Paul H Birch
Paul H Birch
RAMzine Senior Writer - Writer of fiction, faction and fact, has edited several newsstand magazines. He declares himself a hack for hire but refuses to compromise on the subject of music.

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