The Quietus at Sondre Justad
A number of years ago, we stumbled into Sondre Justad in Fauske, an enviably good looking man toting an acoustic guitar at a strange but wonderful festival in a Northern Norwegian marble mine. Years later, with the rare time given to those who refuse to play the game, Justad has developed into a confident, charismatic singer of surprisingly mainstream but nonetheless rather lovely Norwegian language pop. The evening’s biggest P3 Tent crowd swoons to these melancholy-tinged songs, his band slick and generous with the space they leave him to shine. There’s a tender mix of that peculiar joy that only seems to exist in Scandinavian indie, combined with a commercially melodic appeal that seems to speak of his heart rather than his wallet. Throw in hair to die for and it’s no wonder the women here are squealing. It’s a far cry from the gentle acoustic songs we once saw him perform, but rather heartwarming to see how far he’s come without losing his integrity.