Even those living under the sturdiest rock will remember when in 2013 the sounds of Ylvis’ “The Fox” hit the charts; mixing a comic sensibility with the most recent pop-sounds and blending those with homages to genre-tropes of old, the band had a successful run for about two years before fading into obscurity – till now!
Two months ago, Ylvis came out with a new album – “Hamar Town” – and I of course listened obsessively. Then, once I was only just coming down from the high, a new album appeared: “Superstar in Norway!”. I did some research, and it turns out the band was making a comeback with a 7-issue musical TV-series called Stories from Norway, in which they released one short-yet-complete satirical comedy-musical a week, with each story reflecting upon historical (and sometimes recent) events in Norway. The genre – both dramatic and musical – varies wildly from week to week, and sometimes even from song to song; this makes it all the more impressive that pretty much all the songs are so heartfully put together and so professionally produced.
I want to share my excitement with the world, and because of this I’ve made a small selection of some of my favorite hits so far (with a small description of the story to boot); have fun, and here’s hoping for season two!
1. Episode 1: The Diving Tower / Hamar Town
In which Byberg, the second most important man in Hamar town, practices his radical proposal for the coming city council meeting: to build a diving board; and in which Byberg briefly considers issues such as safety, structural soundness, and cost, but is quickly convinced by an outsider that such petty considerations are no match for sheer enthusiasm. Besides – “This is Norway; there is always more money”…
2. Episode 3: Northug / Guard Rail
In which the happiest guard rail, on the calmest road of all Norway, idly relishes in the relaxing pace of his life; and in which Petter Northug, the famous Olympic cross-country skier, crosses his path.
3. Episode 4: The Andøya Rocket Incident / Aurora Borealis
In which Norway enthusiastically praises and then launches a research rocket in january 1995, unaware that their rocket looks suspiciously like a missile. Meanwhile, Boris Yeltsin, president of the Russian Federation, is on the lookout for American submarine attacks…