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avatar for Marit Larsen

Marit Larsen

Marit Larsen - When The Morning Comes

When The Morning Comes, Marit Larsens fourth solo album, finds her having taken a leap of faith, and thus a giant step forward. The former three having been produced by Kåre Vestrheim, she now debuts as producer.

To find out why, we return to 2013 and the aftermath of Spark (2011). Marit felt ready for a change. So when the opportunity to spend some time in Nashville arose, she didn’t have to be asked twice. Marit travelled with the hope of finding an alternative folk scene hiding under the glossy country façade, the scene that had fostered role models such as Gillian Welch, Patty Griffin and Dave Rawlings Machine. The plan was to record the folk album she’s been tinkering with most of her solo career. But things didn’t go according to plan.

She found her scene, and in meeting with a young and very productive enclave of musicians Marit experienced a creative release. Songs virtually pushed their way out, without thought of who would hear them or when. And with her hometown Oslo, Norway, far from her mind, she found herself able to write even more honestly than before.

- I’ve had the notion that I’m not influenced by my audience, but I realize they’ve, to an extent, invaded my creative process. Especially when I’ve been writing at home, where I’ll walk down the street, be recognized and thus reminded of who people think I am. I’ve been afraid of many things, probably because I’ve had a strange life, and to protect myself I’ve tried to build myself a safe haven to work in. This has limited me as a storyteller.

The songs for When The Morning Comes was written while working very closely with a handful of young Nashville musicians. The chemistry between Marit and multi-instrumentalist Tofer Brown, who ended up as co-producer, was particularly important.

The successful process of writing made Marit want to record the album abroad as well. And the hunt for an American producer made her realize that she might as well do the job herself. In skyping, e-mailing and meeting with established producers whose work she admired, she was constantly reminded of the importance that she needed to be at the helm, have a vision and be there for every part of the process.

- It felt as if they heaped the responsibility back onto me, and that their job was to approve the work I’d done. The more such conversations I had, the more I felt a sense of resistance. I wasn’t doing this for approval, I was doing it because I felt the need to take things one step further. I wanted to be challenged, to be in over my head, just like I had when writing the songs.

After 17 years as an artist, and eight years as a band leader, Marit found herself sitting in the producers chair during a recording. And in this work she has tried to move away a little from the sweetness that is associated with her as an artist. There is less acoustic guitar and strings, and Marit was more aware of how she used her own voice than ever before. A personal highlight was working with drummer Matt Chamberlain, Marits “favorite drummer of all time”, who plays on records by artists she has listened to extensively (Fiona Apple to name but one). Davide Rossi, who arranges strings for Coldplay, also contributed.

- I’ve lost some sleep. But we’ve had so much fun! And then there’s this beautiful story, of me traveling in search for an answer, only to find it within myself. I feel that I’ve set something in motion, that I’ve found something that I’ll be building on for a long time to come. A sense of freedom that caused creative release. I’ve never felt as confident in an album as I am now.

My Bands Sessions

Friday, March 20

9:10pm CDT