A Swede with Soul

Daniel Norgen at Pickathon

Q+A with Daniel Norgren

 written by Corinne Whiting | photos by Petra Wester Norgren

Live music often becomes a spiritual experience, and this was the case when Swedish crooner Daniel Norgren took the Woods Stage at last year’s Pickathon (just outside Portland). As shards of August light streamed down on the tranquil scene, Norgren’s sensual voice reverberated through the trees in a way onlookers won’t soon forget. The talented multi-instrumentalist, whose sets feature guitar, piano, harmonica and accordion, delivers performances that cut to the core with their emotion-fueled passion and soul-soothing sounds.

Lucky for us, Norgren returns this fall for his first North American Tour—beginning in Seattle on September 22 (at Tractor Tavern, with special guest William Tyler) and ending in NYC on October 14. Other stops along the way include Revolution Hall in Portland (September 23), The Independent in San Francisco, Troubadour in Los Angeles and Bowery Ballroom in New York City. Something tells us audiences won’t get to witness this rising star in such intimate venues for too much longer.

Seattle’s KEXP will also host an in-studio performance to air on September 20. And for the first time ever, Norgren makes his entire catalog available on October 20, giving fans a chance to dive into years of music magic—2015’s The Green Stone & Alabursy, 2013’s Buck, 2011’s EP Black Vultures and 2010’s Horrifying Deatheating Bloodspider.

We recently caught up with Norgren as he gears up for his first tour outside of Europe. Here’s what the Swedish sensation had to say:

Q: What three adjectives would you use to describe your sound?
A: Simple, woodsy and organic.

Q: Did you always know you wanted to be a musician?
A: I never thought about it until I’d finished high school.

Q: When and where did your first performance take place?
A: It was at the annual Lions Christmas Fair in Hajom. I was asked to come and play three to four songs during coffee, so I practiced for a week. I remember getting paid in pickled herring.

Q: Can you describe the town you grew up in?
A: It was just a small village, no traffic lights, lots of woods, which meant lots of freedom in many ways. A nice forest always turns me on.

Q: What was your overall impression of playing Pickathon last summer?
A: Love and passion would sum up the experience quite well.

Q: What was your experience performing on the festival’s unique Woods Stage?
A: Felt like playing in a bird’s nest. Unique came to mind a couple of times during the show.

Q: And what can Northwest audience members expect of your shows this fall in Portland and Seattle?
A: Maybe a little something for the soul and hopefully a couple of good laughs.

Q: What are you most excited about as you launch into your first U.S. tour?
A: Seeing new places and playing for y’all.

Q: What do you feel most nervous about, if anything?
A: Right now I’d say I feel pretty balanced.

Q: What albums/songs are currently playing in your headphones?
A: Ashraf Hamzi. I don’t know anything about him/her, but the song “Sensual Aura” is pretty rad. Danzig, and a live album called “Side Of The Road” by Lucinda Williams.

Q: What’s your favorite way to spend a day off while on the road? A day off when home in Sweden?
A: When I’m home, I take long walks. On the road you never know, but I like going to museums when the chance is being given, and have me a drink or two.

Read about Sarah Goodnough next!

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