Update: Geir Jenssen has co-written two of the tracks on “Radiant Green”.
(Photo by Knut Åserud) Good news from Norway as the cult band Bel Canto will release an all new album on April 26th, called “Radiant Green“. “Radiant Green” comes after more than two decades of studio silence since their last album “Dorothy’s Victory” already dates from 2002.
“Radiant Green” will be out digitally and on CD and double vinyl. The material was mixed by Matias Tellez and Gilles Martin. For Martin it means his comeback after having produced the first 3 albums of the band, the last being “Shimmering, Warm & Bright” from 1992. Martin’s production helped establish Bel Canto’s distinctive sound in the early days.
Here’s a first teaser which the band released.
The band also released the cover artwork for the new album.
About Bel Canto
Bel Canto, originally a trio but now a duo, features Anneli Drecker as the lead vocalist and was initially under the Crammed Discs label.
The ensemble originated in Tromsø in 1985, established by Geir Jenssen (handling synthesizers and programming), Nils Johansen (playing synthesizer, violin, bass, and guitar), alongside vocalist Anneli Drecker. Their musical influences span a wide range, including Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD), David Bowie, artists from 4AD, Clannad, Kate Bush, Laurie Anderson, David Sylvian, Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO), Ryuichi Sakamoto, Depeche Mode, and the Blue Nile.
In 1986, the trio relocated to Brussels, releasing their debut album, “White-Out Conditions,” through Crammed Discs a year later. Following their second album, “Birds of Passage” (1990), Jenssen departed to pursue a successful solo career as Biosphere, leaving Drecker and Johansen to achieve a commercial breakthrough with “Shimmering, Warm and Bright” in 1992. By this time, their music had transitioned from ethereal dream electropop to a synth-based pop sound enriched with world music elements.
Anneli Drecker occasionally paused her involvement with Bel Canto to focus on solo projects and collaborations with other artists and bands, including Röyksopp and a-ha, in addition to her work in film and theater. Nils Johansen, meanwhile, composed music for film and television and continued his involvement with his other band, Vajas.
In 2010, following a reunion concert in Oslo, Side-Line interviewed the original members, who revealed they were working on a new album, although tensions were apparent. Ultimately, Geir Jenssen left the band once more, and the project was left unfinished.
A previously unreleased track from 1988, “Flowerbeds,” surfaced in 2009 on the Norwegian compilation “Maskindans: Norsk synth 1980–1988,” released by Hommage Records. In 2017, Bel Canto graced the stage at Øyafestivalen in Oslo, delivering a performance that spanned their hits in a set lasting nearly an hour. During an interview, Drecker expressed the band’s enthusiasm for more live performances and the potential for new music.
In June 2022, Anneli Drecker and Nils Johansen shared news of their ongoing work on a forthcoming Bel Canto album.
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