Album Review: Thom Hell – Happy Rabbit

Thom Hell is arguably one of the most prominent and prolific singer-songwriters on the music scene in Norway today. With his stunningly versatile and tumultuous musical styles having won three Norwegian Grammy awards it’s definitely time that he received the accolade he deserves on a more global scale.

Currently with two EPs and five albums to his name, he has definitely been prolific in his craft – which is perhaps why his latest album is titled Happy Rabbit. A monumental treat with an ample 16 tracks on it, Happy Rabbit will keep you entertained all evening. Bursting to life with the strangely jaunting Grow Up Hell’s album begins to grow and undulate, surrounding his listeners with a series of songs that are beautiful, harmonious and utterly beguiling. There is a wonderful sense of familiarity within his work as it frequently echoes of the soft folk music of the early 70s with rich, smooth melodies that intermingle with occasionally jarring tunes, all juxtaposed to create a charismatic and enthralling performance that is elevated high by his stunning vocals.

With a soft, tender and deeply passionate voice steeped in emotion, Hell is nothing short of an absolute pleasure to listen to. As cool and natural as the wind, his vocals seem to resonate throughout his songs in a charmingly atmospheric way. Evocative of rich, undulating slopes of snow and dense Norwegian forests there is something in his voice that is akin to the forces of nature itself. At times you can hear echoes of artists of the past in his voice, the likes of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young frequently come to mind as you are absorbed by his voice.

Despite his music seeming as though it has existed through the ages, gradually maturing like a fine whisky – there is also something contemporary and rock infused with it that creates a series of cracks between a variety of genres. Not quite folk and not quite indie, Hell is a resonant defiance to categorisation. Grandiose and daring, his music is flecked with dashes of sounds from across the globe while retaining a sound that is still decidedly Nordic; creating a sound that is quite unlike anything we have over here.

Hell is an immeasurably talented musician with a charming and elegant voice. He has a stunning capacity and daring nature that has allowed him to craft a stunning collection of songs that the world at large really needs to hear.

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Review by Joe Knipe

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