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Norwegian Arms





The Deli Philly’s Best of 2012 Poll for Emerging Artists Winner: Norwegian Arms

Dear Deli Readers,

We are proud to announce that The Deli Philly’s Best of 2012 Emerging Artist is Norwegian Arms! It was a tight race from the get-go between the self-described “weirdo-folk” duo turned trio and power-pop outfit Hop Along with Lushlife solidly representing the local hip-hop community in third place.


Please take a look at our chart of 60+ Philly area artists below. The highest value of votes came from our jurors, who included individuals involved in local music. This includes promoters, venue owners, press, DJs and other music experts (who are listed below - thanks y’all). The remainder of the votes was compiled by The Deli Philly contributors, readers, and open submissions voted on by national Deli editors.

List of Jurors: Brendan Bercik (Pilam), Dan Bisogno (Choice Tasters, VICE, Live Nation), Jeff Blinder (Spazz Presents), Kate Bracaglia (Philly.com, WXPN2, The Key), Eric Bresler (PhilaMOCA), Ryan Crump (Philly Drum Project), Kevin D’Mello (RockaPhilly), Mikele Edwards (Silk City), Nick Fanelli (The Fire, Guild Shows), Stacie George (Live Nation), Ellei Johndro (Shadowscene), Matt Kelchner (Bikini Island), Kevin Kennedy (The Swollen Fox), Colin Kerrigan (Out of Town Films, Philly.com, Pitchfork), Josh T. Landow (Y-Not Radio), Jesse Lundy (Point Entertainment), Gordon Mays (Kung Fu Necktie), Brian McTear (Weathervane Music), Jeff Meyers (Guild Shows), George Miller (JUMP Philly), Brandee Nichols (Philly Mostly Vegan, JUMP Philly), Matt Ricchini (Union Transfer, Johnny Brenda’s, Kung Fu Necktie), Mark Schoneveld (YVYNYL), Maria T. Sciarrino (WPRB, Her Jazz), Stephanie Seiple (Tri-State Indie), Elliott Sharp (City Paper, The Key, Noisey, Village Voice), Sara Sherr (Sugar Town), Matt Smith (HotBox Sessions), Jon Solomon (WPRB), Q.D. Tran (The Deli Magazine), John Vettese (The Key, WXPN, City Paper), Nikki Volpicelli (The Philly Music Showcase), Chris Ward (Johnny Brenda’s), Bruce Warren (WXPN, Some Velvet Blog, The Key)

Congrats to everyone who made the list and thanks to all those who voted!

BEST OF 2012 POLL FOR EMERGING PHILLY ARTISTS 
 
ARTIST
J
W
R
OS
TOT
 
1
Norwegian Arms
24
3
0.016
 
27.016
2
Hop Along
19
3
0.013
 
22.013
icon
3
Lushlife
10
3
0.006
 
13.006
icon
4
Work Drugs
7
2
0.009
 
9.009
icon
5
Spacin'
7
2
0.005
 
9.005
icon
6
Chill Moody
7
 
0.5
 
7.5
icon
7
Cheers Elephant
6
1
0.045
 
7.045
icon
8
The Bailey Hounds
6
1
0.006
 
7.006
icon
9
Grande Marshall
5
2
0.004
 
7.004
icon
10
Cousin Brian
5
1
0.055
 
6.055
icon
11
Turning Violet Violet
2
1
0.011
3
6.011
12
Purling Hiss
3
3
0.008
 
6.008
icon
13
Cold Fronts
4
2
0.006
 
6.006
icon
14
+HIRS+
4
1
0.5
 
5.5
icon
15
The Districts
2
1
0.051
2
5.051
icon
16
Ghost Light
 
3
0.011
2
5.011
icon
17
The Lawsuits
5
 
0.005
 
5.005
icon
 
TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb
4
1
0.005
 
5.005
icon
19
DRGN King
4
1
0.004
 
5.004
icon
 
Laser Background
4
1
0.004
 
5.004
icon
21
Arrah and the Ferns
1
2
0.004
1.5
4.504
22
Night Panther
2
2
0.039
 
4.039
icon
23
Arc in Round
3
1
0.007
 
4.007
icon
24
Daniel Bachman
3
1
0.005
 
4.005
icon
 
Gliss
3
1
0.005
 
4.005
icon
 
Grandchildren
2
2
0.005
 
4.005
icon
 
Nightlands
2
2
0.005
 
4.005
icon
28 
Modern Inventors
3
 
0.004
1
4.004
icon
29
Vacationer
3
1
0.002
 
4.002
icon
30
Rainbow Destroyer
3
 
0.013
 
3.013
icon
31
Levee Drivers
3
 
0.012
 
3.012
icon
32
The Interest Group
3
 
0.007
 
3.007
icon
33
The Bad Doctors
3
 
0.006
 
3.006
icon
34
Restorations
2
1
0.005
 
3.005
icon
35
L.U.N.A.R. Revolt
3
 
0.003
 
3.003
icon
36
Pattern is Movement
1
2
0.001
 
3.001
icon
 
The High Five
3
 
0.001
 
3.001
icon
38
Dear Althea
1
 
2
 
3
icon
39
Ton-Taun
 
 
1.5
1
2.5
icon
40
Lockets
2
 
0.054
 
2.054
icon
41
Trophy Wife
2
 
0.027
 
2.027
icon
42
Dreambook
2
 
0.02
 
2.02
icon
43
Heyward Howkins
1
 
0.013
1
2.013
icon
44
Void Vision
2
 
0.005
 
2.005
icon
45
Juston Stens & The Get...
2
 
0.003
 
2.003
icon
 
Kate Ferencz
2
 
0.003
 
2.003
icon
 
Nothing
 
1
0.003
1
2.003
icon
48
OCD: Moosh & Twist
2
 
0.002
 
2.002
icon
 
Strand of Oaks
2
 
0.002
 
2.002
icon
50
Bee Mask
2
 
0.001
 
2.001
icon
 
White Birds
2
 
0.001
 
2.001
icon
52
You You Dark Forest
 
 
1
1
2
icon
53
Sonni Shine & The...
 
 
0.05
1.5
1.55
icon
54
Eskimeaux
 
 
0.049
1
1.049
icon
55
Orion Freeman
1
 
0.047
 
1.047
icon
 
Toy Soldiers
1
 
0.047
 
1.047
icon
57
Willow Talk
 
 
0.024
1
1.024
icon
58
Prowler
1
 
0.007
 
1.007
icon
59
Modern Baseball
1
 
0.006
 
1.006
icon
 
The Tough Shits
1
 
0.006
 
1.006
icon
61
Swearin'
1
 
0.005
 
1.005
icon
62
Nick Millevoi
1
 
0.004
 
1.004
icon
63
Shark Tape
1
 
0.003
 
1.003
icon
64
Banned Books
1
 
0.002
 
1.002
icon
 
Luther
1
 
0.002
 
1.002
icon
 
Residuels
1
 
0.002
 
1.002
icon
67
XVSK
1
 
0.001
 
1.001
icon
Legend: J = Jurors, W = Deli Writers,
R = Deli Readers, OS = Open Submissions

Much love,

The Deli’s Staff

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Norwegian Arms Opening for Buke and Gase at Johnny Brenda’s Feb. 1

Percussion as brisk and biting as a Siberian winter cut with mandolin twangs harkens back to days gone by at babushka’s house, sitting over a steaming bowl of homemade borscht. Vocalist Brendan Mulvihill wrote Norwegian Arms’ debut full-length album, Wolf Like A Stray Dog, during his yearlong fellowship in Tomsk, Russia.  Rich, multi-layered sounds are woven together with the help of partner in crime Dr. Awkward, a.k.a. Erick Slick (of Dr. Dog), which simultaneously blend and clash with Mulvihill’s vocals. Their quick tracks ink together to paint an icy landscape yearning for discovery, with Mulvihill, Slick and Laser Background’s Andy Molholt forging the path. Norwegian Arms will be opening for Deli NYC favorite and Brooklyn-based Buke and Gase, with Arone Dyer on the “buke” (a self-modified sixstring baritone ukulele) and Aron Sanchez playing “gas” (a guitar-bass hybrid creation). Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frakford Ave., 9:15pm, $12, 21+ - Shaylin O’Connell

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The Deli Philly’s January Album of the Month: Wolf Like a Stray Dog - Norwegian Arms

Norwegian Arms’ debut LP Wolf Like a Stray Dog is a solid and short one. The album is over in a flash, with all the tracks, minus one, clocking in under two and a half minutes. The songs are snapshots, but they do not feel cut short despite their limited runtime. It is more an in-and-out effectiveness of punks Minor Threat or Bad Brains. The lyrics on the album are just great. Mulvihill could have easily allowed the album to rely on its poetic strength, but instead, with the help of Dr. Dog’s Eric Slick, among others, he was able to capture the emotions of the words, and counter them with a prancing, percussive folk sound.
 
The minimalist opening of “And Then I Found Myself in Taiga” introduces the listener to singer/mandolin player Brendan Mulvihill’s quivering tenor and ruminant, gentle lyrics. A lot of Norwegian Arms’ appeal up until this album were those sticking points, but as soon as they introduce Mr. Slick’s dynamic percussion, it changes the way that you look at the band entirely. The sound from previous demos is really flipped on its head, and suddenly the mandolin is complimenting the tribal percussion that is the heartbeat of the LP. The opening track is significantly more put together than anything the band had released before, which is not to say the lo-fi approach didn’t have its benefits, but the sound on this album realizes the songs in a way that a lo-fi approach could not.
 
The title track “Wolf Like a Stray Dog” has an animalistic charm of Animal Collective’s Sung Tongs - both in subject and the primal nature of the song itself. Maybe it is a cop out, but there were numerous times when I heard that era of AnCo in Norwegian Arms. There are dynamic similarities, thematic similarities and vocal similarities. That is a compliment by the way.
 
Another rewarding listen on the record is “She Lives in a Secret Town,” which also showed up on their Trimming of Hides EP. If you really want to understand how the new recordings changed their sound for the better, just listen to both versions of that song, and you will get it. Simple things like the sparse lead guitar do wonders for the song. “Soviet Bicycle” has a hypnotic repetition to it. It is a dizzying listen, and fully captures the bike ride that the band takes you on. The song is really clever in that way, and for that matter, the whole album. One of the earlier tastes that we sampled of the LPwas “Tired of Being Cold”; the ever relatable lament about not only being cold, but self-reflection and the inevitability of aging. The record closes with the declarative, bouncy “Pu-Erh.” The song removes you from the cold being sung about, and places you in a sandy oasis where your only obligations are to relax and enjoy. 
 
Wolf Like a Stray Dog is fully immersive. It is a cocoon to protect from external surroundings. At the same time, it obsesses about external surroundings while displaced. Throughout the record, you can hear Mulvihill question and reaffirm his purpose. He does so with vignettes - some seemingly unrelated but all ultimately essential. There is a lot to say for an album with no filler. It is melodic, it is therapeutic, and it is truly fulfilling. - Adam G. 

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January 2013
Norwegian Arms
"Wolf Like a Stray Dog
"
mp3
Norwegian Arms’ debut LP Wolf Like a Stray Dog is a solid and short one. The album is over in a flash, with all the tracks, minus one, clocking in under two and a half minutes. The songs are snapshots, but they do not feel cut short despite their limited runtime. It is more an in-and-out effectiveness of punks Minor Threat or Bad Brains. The lyrics on the album are just great. Mulvihill could have easily allowed the album to rely on its poetic strength, but instead, with the help of Dr. Dog’s Eric Slick, among others, he was able to capture the emotions of the words, and counter them with a prancing, percussive folk sound.
 
The minimalist opening of “And Then I Found Myself in Taiga” introduces the listener to singer/mandolin player Brendan Mulvihill’s quivering tenor and ruminant, gentle lyrics. A lot of Norwegian Arms’ appeal up until this album were those sticking points, but as soon as they introduce Mr. Slick’s dynamic percussion, it changes the way that you look at the band entirely. The sound from previous demos is really flipped on its head, and suddenly the mandolin is complimenting the tribal percussion that is the heartbeat of the LP. The opening track is significantly more put together than anything the band had released before, which is not to say the lo-fi approach didn’t have its benefits, but the sound on this album realizes the songs in a way that a lo-fi approach could not.
 
The title track “Wolf Like a Stray Dog” has an animalistic charm of Animal Collective’s Sung Tongs - both in subject and the primal nature of the song itself. Maybe it is a cop out, but there were numerous times when I heard that era of AnCo in Norwegian Arms. There are dynamic similarities, thematic similarities and vocal similarities. That is a compliment by the way.
 
Another rewarding listen on the record is “She Lives in a Secret Town,” which also showed up on their Trimming of Hides EP. If you really want to understand how the new recordings changed their sound for the better, just listen to both versions of that song, and you will get it. Simple things like the sparse lead guitar do wonders for the song. “Soviet Bicycle” has a hypnotic repetition to it. It is a dizzying listen, and fully captures the bike ride that the band takes you on. The song is really clever in that way, and for that matter, the whole album. One of the earlier tastes that we sampled of the LPwas “Tired of Being Cold”; the ever relatable lament about not only being cold, but self-reflection and the inevitability of aging. The record closes with the declarative, bouncy “Pu-Erh.” The song removes you from the cold being sung about, and places you in a sandy oasis where your only obligations are to relax and enjoy. 
 
Wolf Like a Stray Dog is fully immersive. It is a cocoon to protect from external surroundings. At the same time, it obsesses about external surroundings while displaced. Throughout the record, you can hear Mulvihill question and reaffirm his purpose. He does so with vignettes - some seemingly unrelated but all ultimately essential. There is a lot to say for an album with no filler. It is melodic, it is therapeutic, and it is truly fulfilling. - Adam G.
 




Photo Recap: Norwegian Arms LP Release/Apocalypse Party w/Pattern is Movement, Laser Background & Night Panther at JB's

This past Friday night four Philly bands came together to end the world with a bang, or deny the prophecy of the Mayans rather. Norwegian Arms were also celebrating the release of their debut LP, Wolf Like a Stray Dog, a collection of folk-y, fun tunes written by mastermind Brendan Mulvihill during his time spent in Siberia. Introducing the night was Night Panther, a groovy four-piece that sounds like a sexier version of a 1950's sock hop. They played some sweet electric guitar riffs and boogied down in their dapper outfits to thumping electro sonic blasts. Following their performance was ex-Armchairs Andy Molholt's project, Laser Background, a band so different and unique that their sound could only be described by the soul of their kazoos and rockin’ guitar work. A big excitement of the night, besides the release of the new Norwegian Arms LP, was the return of Pattern is Movement to Johnny Brenda’s stage. Drummer Chris Ward and keyboardist/vocalist Andrew Thiboldeaux threw down a slew of deep, soulful grooves with a modern day experimental twist. The audience seemed thoroughly ready for the next PiM album to arrive. 2013 is going to be a huge year for the dynamic, bearded duo. Last but not least, Norwegian Arms had everybody bobbing their heads in approval of their set that included songs from the album, another new original and a cover of Frank Ocean's “Thinkin Bout You.” It was a special evening of music at JB’s with plenty of positive energy bouncing around the room. You can check out our pics from the night HERE. (Photo by Rachel Barrish)

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