Eivind Opsvik and Aaron Jennings have teamed up for their third album. Over the years, their sound and approach to music making has been constantly changing, but it always seems to retain a unique quality - they gravitate towards melodies that grow on the listener over time. The wonderfully strange and timeless themes juxtaposed with sound experimentation seem to come from a wide variety of influences. One might hear the echo of a Richard Strauss horn fanfare, or the admiration of a guitar sound from a record by The Byrds, or a childhood fascination with songs from those 40's Disney cartoons... you never know.
Opsvik, who grew up in Oslo, Norway, has made a name for himself primarily as a bassist in NYC, but also as a composer, record producer, and general multi-instrumentalist. Jennings, from Tulsa, Oklahoma, focuses his energy mainly on song-writing and unusual guitar and banjo parts for the band. Perhaps, in part, their unique sound is a result of their very different backgrounds and inspirations - Jennings has a quirky melodic sensibility stemming from his interest in a wide range of old and new pop music, while Opsvik is heavily involved in the improvised music scene and finds inspiration in his classical training. But they feed off each other in creative ways and use these differences to their advantage.
While most of their working time is spent exploring in the studio, they can frequently be heard doing intimate performances at their favorite NYC spots like Nublu, Death by Audio, and Monkey Town; and the occasional summer show overseas.
The band’s first album, “Fløyel Files” (2005), was the most software based of their albums, and really belongs in the electronica category. Wire (UK) concluded: "Ambient without wandering, sweet but not sickly, quirky yet never wacky, this is a beautifully paced piece of work”.
After that, categorization became more difficult. Their second album, “Commuter Anthems”(2007), was released on the prestigious Rune Grammofon label. It had the quality of being molded and crafted with software using a “cut and paste” software approach, but was recorded primarily with real instruments, and took on a more organic feel. The New York Times wrote: "They’re tidy and sweet, calling attention to their design, but they don’t want to be understood too easily".
For the new album “A Dream I Used to Remember”, released on Loyal Label, the two moved even further away from their original fascination with the beeps and bleeps of electronic music to have more of a “full band” type approach. Leaning more towards an experimental pop sound of sorts, they spent countless hours in 2007 and 2008 constructing ten memorable themes - experimenting with recording techniques and orchestrations, making use of guitars, upright bass, old school keyboards and electronics, banjos, and a choir. The result is their most thematically focused album to date where each songs complements and leads to the next and the whole record plays down like a story. It is also the first time Opsvik & Jennings release their album on vinyl (LP), in addition to CD and downloads.