Album Review: Oriental Sunshine – Dedicated To The Bird We Love

Dedicated to the Bird we Love was originally released by multicultural Norwegian trio Oriental Sunshine back in 1970 to a limited vinyl run and if we’re honest, seems to have been virtually ignored outside of Norway. Long out of print, it was stumbled upon by the Round 2 who decided to unearth this forgotten gem and give it a second life. With this resurgence Oriental Sunshine now has the chance for the glory it deserved the first time around.

The band was originally formed by Norwegian nationals Nina Johansen and Rune Walle who wanted to sing of peace and harmony. The duo sought out another element to their music which lead them to the recently emigrated New Delhi born Satnam Singh who added another element to their music and brought the trio to a multicultural status that at the time in Norway was virtually unheard of. Between the three of them, they combined their extensive skills and desires to produce Dedicated to the Bird we Love, a strange but evocative amalgamation of sounds from around the world that break down the borders between countries to bring to life something that draws influence from the world itself.

Granted, there are indeed elements within their music that are shaped more from specific areas of the world. Lead predominantly by the sitar it does have an Asian feel to it but this is combined with the likes of strong piping evocative of the Celtic folk songs of old, not to mention organs that sound almost gospel in nature. Despite their name being indicative of the Orient their music really doesn’t have the capacity to stay in any one country too long and their songs will whisk you across the globe at a moments notice. The vocal harmonies of the trio are also astounding. Lead by the smooth and sultry vocals of Johansen, a subtle Norwegian lilt to her voice and backed up by Walle and Singh, their harmonies come together in a clash of accents and cultures to bring forth some of the most unique and tender harmonies of their time.

Oriental Sunshine’s songs are a unique and resplendent amalgamation of sounds from around the world that speak of peace, love and harmony. It seems only natural that the resurgence of the album should come at the end of 2016 to remind us all that walls and borders shouldn’t separate us as people.

Get the album here Oriental Sunshine – Dedicated To The Bird We Love

Review by Joe Knipe