(c) Jørgen Nordby
Pom Poko

Pom Poko

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(c) Jørgen Nordby

Playful avant-pop experimentation!


12 November 2019

The perky quartet from Norway embraces the open-ended universe of pop, creating a playful “anything matches” mix of indie-pop and art-rock. They sometimes come across like kids in a DJ booth, playfully blending genres that, at first sight, may not seem entirely compatible. But Pom Poko’s grafts work, whether they’re layering self-pity verses (“it’s never interesting what I have to say”) over addictive post-punk scratches on “Jazz Baby” or splitting the difference between African beats and muddy alt-rock guitar riffs on “Follow the Lights”, the band’s debut release on Bella Union Records.

Martin Miguel Almagro Tonne, Ola Djupvik, Jonas Krøvel and Ragnhild Fangel Jamtveit met at the Trondheim Music Conservatory. They borrowed their name from the famous eccentric Japanese anime film and — evidently — got inspired by its colourful aesthetic. Soon they started experimenting with various styles and effects in a curious, decidedly unorthodox way. Pom Poko’s approach seems to deconstruct sonic tropes, building them anew as gloriously awkward but righteously beautiful structures; that alone is enough to increase our anticipation for their debut album, Birthday, set for release in February 2019 via Bella Union. Pom Poko’s sound is youthful and novel and though it’s admittedly hard to pigeonhole, it’s refreshingly easy to enjoy.


The debut album of the Norwegian band came out in February 2019, titled Birthday and featuring influences from experimental hip-hop, indie/noise/punk rock, and even West African sounds. The band’s and, consequently, the album’s asset is this weirdly beautiful combination of audacious attitude and playful melodies. Songs like “My Blood”, “Crazy Energy Night” and the title track take music in an outrageous direction-but then again, this is the anarchic realm in which Pom Poko thrive.

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