Nils Bech

Nils Bech

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Experimental avant-garde pop with a vulnerable falsetto.


by Katrin Sviland
10 January 2017

For years he remained a beautiful well-kept secret in the underground art world. The Vikersund-born artist’s performances – adding a palm leaf and a step ladder as subtle props accompanying his angelic voice – made for emotional live experiences.

Building his catalogue in almost intense silence, the classically trained vocal artist let his voice be known to a mainstream audience when he performed his version of ‘O Helga Natt’ (‘O Holy Night’) on the hit Norwegian television series Skam in late 2016. Shame – which is the English translation of the word skam – is coincidentally also a recurrent theme on his second album One Year, specifically how it has the power to tarnish love and relationships.

Chasing more brutal sounds than his usual electronica and pulsing synth pop, his latest album Echo, released on DFA, belongs in the broody club darkness. The heavy beats are the result of his collaboration with West Coast producer Drippin, and add a different kind of drama to his music.

Bech places himself comfortably between art and music, bringing the term avant-garde to mind when his vocal performance recalls that of opera singers – but meeting chaotic noise and stabbing beats. His music remains ever-experimental, his voice consistently craving active listening.

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