Ragz Nordset is a name you all should know. The Nordic chanteuse has bewitched acoustic audiences around this town and beyond for a while now. Supporting the likes of Laura Marling and Wild Beats, Ragz has built quite the following.
Followers who hang on every delicate word released from her delightful melodies.
That’s all about to change with latest EP release, ‘Sleepdancing’, though. “This is a rebirth for me,” says Ragz.
The singer songwriter has been working with producer Mario Leal (Mumford & Sons, Tea Street Band) and he believes the new direction he has set for Ragz is about to pay dividends: “I heard her material and was hooked straight away by that beautiful voice – though the very first song I was interested in, I ended up transforming the into something completely new,” he reveals.
Ragz loved it: “Working with Mario has been like experiencing and discovering a new world and I hope this is one that the audience can submerge themselves in and enjoy too,” she says. “The influences on the record are many and fairly versatile – with both Mario’s and my own inspirations mixed together. I’ve been listening to Bon Iver, Brian Eno and the Cocteau Twins.”
We can tell. The new sound is as melodic as it is interesting and Ragz may have arrived at a truly unique sound. There are classical influences at work too, mixing with electronic sounds, acoustic guitars and sweeping chord sequences.
“The main body of the EP was written over a period of time when I was going through a personal and emotional transgression,” says the singer. “Some of the work mirrors the progression of that process and they work together because they reflect the links between the steps made through that experience.”
It’s a bold move. And brave music. But definitely the right side of accessible. “The songs are acoustic/electronic soundscapes – intimate stories that I hope will translate through the wonderfully crafted musical canvas Mario has created,” she says.
The producer is satisfied that the ‘rebirth’ will connect: “I would say we used ‘organic’ sounds to enhance the songs – by this I mean that we are using many real life sounds and not necessarily instruments. The rain heard on the intro’ to ‘You Started It All’, for example, is literally a microphone recording the sound of rain falling on Ragz’ window!”
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Certainly organic, then. And perhaps even elemental – always a word associated with Ragz Nordset’s gorgeous music. Her emergence as an artist who refuses to be boxed in continues.
“I’ve met so many kindred spirits and challenging personalities in Liverpool. The city holds a truly eclectic mix of people. My attraction initially was the musical heritage – which still colours the city – and it’s shaped me, both personally as well as musically,” she says.
Long may it continue…
Ragz Nordset, ‘Sleepdancing’, is available now on nu northern soul.