WHITE WILLOW: Laser’s Edge Confirms Winter Release Of Future Hopes, The Seventh Album By Eclectic Norwegian Group

white-willow_012_web-photo-by-dagfinn-hobaek[photo by Dagfinn Hobæk]

Norwegian eclectic prog troupe WHITE WILLOW will release their seventh full-length album, Future Hopes, this Winter, through their longtime label home, Laser’s Edge.

Future Hopes, their first album since 2011’s well-received Terminal Twilight sees WHITE WILLOW exploring some of the most “progressive” territory the band has ever ventured into, with several very lengthy tracks and more instrumental stretching out than they are usually known for. The album features a heavy use of synthesizers, including the unique textures of the Yamaha CS80, the famed Blade Runner synth; the movie, and Vangelis’ music for it, was one of the influences on the album.

Offers founding WHTE WILLOW guitarist Jacob Holm-Lupo, “Future Hopes is loosely tied together by a science fiction concept, a ‘love among the ruins’ story.” Delving deeper into the creation of the album he continues, “Future Hopes is our seventh album, and a sequel of sorts to our two other conceptual albums, Terminal Twilight and Storm Season. We’re extremely excited and impatient to share the music, which features both our new singer, Venke Knutson — a well-known artist in her own right here in Norway with several Top 10 hits to her credit — as well as guest appearances by guitar wizard Hedvig Mollestad (Hedvig Mollestad Trio) and world-renowned clarinetist David Krakauer. Returning from the Terminal Twilight line-up are Mattias Olsson (Necromonkey, ex-Änglagård), Ellen Andrea Wang (PIxel, Manu Katché Group), Lars Fredrik Frøislie (Wobbler) and Ketil Einarsen (Kaukasus, ex-Jaga Jazzist).”

Musically the album follows logically from the previous one, but with a bit more instrumental stretching out, especially thanks to Hedvig’s guitar, and the modern production approach of the record. Future Hopes was mixed by the highly respected Norwegian engineer Christian Engfelt, known for his work on the Elephant9/Reine Fiske album, Atlantis and the Todd Rundgren/Lindstrøm collaboration, Runddans, with several of his productions having been Grammy-nominated and/or won in Norway. The record was mastered by Grammy Award-winning audiophile legend Bob Katz, and completed with a specially commissioned painting by Roger Dean.

Laser’s Edge will release Future Hopes on CD, LP, and all digital platforms in the first quarter of 2017; a final release date will be issued alongside the cover art, track listing, and much more in the coming days.

Formed in Oslo in 1992/93, WHITE WILLOW has built a reputation over the years as a diverse, subtle, progressively-focused group, their albums always critically acclaimed and revered as influential. They were a part of the original revival of progressive rock in Scandinavia that also included Änglagård, Anekdoten, and Landberk, and original Änglagård drummer Mattias Olsson is the drummer of WHITE WILLOW. Fusing influences from 1970s prog rock and folk rock, hard rock, electronica, and even some pop influences, with each album they explore new territories. A common thread throughout all the albums though, is the use of female vocals and the employment of huge arsenals of vintage keyboards and synthesizers, notably mellotrons, chamberlins, moogs, solinas, prophets, and more. Among the bands/artists admired by WHITE WILLOW are Genesis, Blue Öyster Cult, King Crimson, Fairport Convention, Nick Drake, Joni Mitchell and Norwegian bands ranging from Høst to Darkthrone.