If the words “True Norwegian Art Rock” seem strange, buckle in, because that’s just the tip of the iceberg for Årabrot. The art/noise rockers have collaborated with plenty of familiar faces in the metal world, from producer Billy Anderson to Stephen O’Malley (Sunn O))), Khanate, Burning Witch), Erlend Hjelvik (Kvelertak) and Ted Parsons (Killing Joke). Band mastermind Kjetil Nernes also completed an entire Årabrot tour knowing he had throat cancer before seeking treatment.
All of that information suggests a highly unique band, and Årabrot are certainly that. Taken off their Pelagic-bound Who Do You Love album, Decibel has acquired an exclusive stream of the bands’s version of “Sinnerman,” an African American spiritual that’s been performed by Nina Simone, among others.
“Old blues, the minstrels in dirty suits, the chain gang choirs, the gospels, the deep roots of folk and country music channeled through generations of blood and sweat, the love and hate of biblical proportions,” Nernes says. “This is all such a pivotal part of the greatest art. That being literature, music or even film. I watched the Nina Simone documentary one night and was deeply moved by her version of ‘Sinnerman.’ A few days later I tried a different take of the song in our studio and it had a nerve I quite enjoyed. We tried it again some time later and that particular vibe was still there. I had no plan for the song at all, no idea if it actually was good or not. I wasn’t even sure it would be included on the album. Boy was I wrong.”
A two-song Record Store Day release will be available on 4/21.