2010 promises to be a very good year for the young Norwegian singer and tunesmith Mathias Tjonn. Originally hailing from Oslo, Norway and the same music scene that has fostered such talents as Hanne Hukkelberg and Rockettothesky (Jenny Hval), Mathias has now taken his own brand of Baroque folk to the Big Apple after spending four years at Berklee College of Music studying composition and guitar performance.
This year started off with the arrival of his debut release Interim EP , a collection of weird songs, sad songs and love songs sung both in his native Norwegian as well as English. The songs themselves are often centered on the combination of his tenor voice and either finger-style guitar playing or piano and feature haunting string and woodwind arrangements reminiscent of Scott Walker, Townes Van Zandt, Rufus Wainwright and Sufjan Stevens. Lyrically he finds inspiration not only in the trials and tribulations of his own life (thankfully), but also in the writing of people such as Mark Haddon, W.G. Sebald and Norwegian poet Nils Yttri. Co-produced by Sony Music producer Ryu Takahashi, Interim EP was written, recorded, arranged and performed almost entirely by Mathias and has earned him critical acclaim as well as a busy gigging schedule in cities all along the East Coast.
What Mathias does is definitely different: Grand, symphonic and undeniably Norwegian.