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This article was published on 06 Nov 2017, and is filed under Music.

I See Rivers

I See Rivers are, in my opinion, the most utterly adorable, gorgeous, mega talented music group you’ll find around at the moment. Although they’re from various parts of Norway, they actually met and formed in Liverpool, where they have been developing their own genre ‘float folk’. Their poetic lyrics and delicate voices are complimented by interesting harmonies, creating a sound reminiscent of acts such as Fleet Foxes, Sufjan Stevens and Feist

It was love at first sight/hear for me, when I saw them supporting WOWH a while back. They completely blew me away (and I’m sure most other people there) with their ability to fully reign in a slightly rowdy, chatty audience, and hold a captivated crowd for their entire set. They even unplugged and came into the middle of the crowd for one hauntingly beautiful song. When they finished playing, you could hear a pin drop in the room.

Anyway, I’m clearly a fan. But don’t take my word for it! Listen to them yourselves:

I caught up with Lil, Gøril and Eline on one of their regular London visits for a speedy chat over coffee and of course I couldn’t resist taking their portraits…

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AJ: How did you form?

Lill: We met in Liverpool when we all went to study music there at Liverpool institute of performing arts, or LIPA for short. We’re from such different parts of Norway, it was actually more probable that we would meet in Liverpool. It’s a 26 hour drive from Gøril’s place to my place!

AJ: Wow. Norway’s big!

Gøril: It’s long.

AJ: Ok so you’ve totally just answered my next question ‘why Liverpool’. That’s why, you came over here to study. But what drew you to study in Liverpool? What was the appeal?

Eline: In Norway it has a good reputation, because there are some graduates from the school that have done really well in Norway. So I think they made it a thing. That’s how I heard of it anyway. We all thought the same thing I guess.

AJ: Were you like “I’m from Norway, you’re from Norway, let’s do something together”?

Lill: Basically the first day of school they had all the international students together for a talk in one of the auditoriums. And none of us could understand the Scouse accent. We were all gathered together outside afterwards and were like “ok so what did you understand?”

Eline: I think we became friends quite quickly after a few months there. And then Gøril and Lill started writing together and I watched them perform in Liverpool and I thought they were so cool. And then they asked me if I wanted to join.

AJ: When did you graduate?

Eline: Me and Gøril graduated last year, and Lill is graduating now.

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AJ: Do you think you’re going to stay in Liverpool? Is liverpool your home now?

Lill: I don’t know! We’re definitely going to stay in the U.K. For a while.

Gøril: We’re thinking of coming further south.

Lill: London is too busy, for me and for Gøril.

AJ: Have you felt any major differences in the music scene between Norway and England. I know even within England the music scene varies from city to city, but how is it in Norway?

Gøril: I think here it feels more open, probably because it’s bigger. It’s open to more genres. Norway will always have this Norwegian niche thing where you’re either a part of it or not.

Lill: I’ve never actually been in the Norwegian music scene.

Eline: You can kinda hear where bands are from. Like from Birmingham or Oslo. Each city have their own thing. And from the north it’s very common to sing in your dialect, in a northern accent.

AJ: Why do you sing in English?

Eline: I think all of us wrote in English before we started writing together. We have really different dialects, so if we sang in Norwegian we would have to decide on one and that would be weird. Or if we did our own individual it would sound weird.

Gøril: We could probably do it for one song but I think it would be hard to listen to.

AJ: Do you find it just as easy to express yourself lyrically in English. Do you ever think in English?

Lill: Sometimes!

Eline: Sometimes you go back home and you’re still thinking in English, so you get the grammar wrong and then you come back to England and you’re all confused again.

Lill: From a songwriting perspective, English vocabulary is bigger, so there is a lot more choice of words when you write. It feels a bit freer because it’s not my mother tongue, so it doesn’t matter if it’s not correct.

Aj: Is it more creative then, because you can use words for the sound rather than the meaning.

Eline: Exactly! There’s a lot of times when we’re like “can we really say that, is this a thing?” But we usually just decide that yeah we’re going to say that.

Aj: I think that’s what you should be able to do in music.

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Aj: Do you have a favourite gig so far?

Eline: I think it was the Olympia theatre in dublin. It wasn’t just the gig itself, it was the whole Dublin experience, we had a really good time. That was when we supported Newton Faulkner. The audience were amazing!

AJ: You’re quite interactive with the audience aren’t you. When I saw you live, you came into the crowd to perform a song. Do you do that a lot?

Eline. It’s a new thing.

AJ: I guess it isn’t always going to be appropriate is it?

Eline: I think the less appropriate the better!

AJ: Are your musical influences the same? Or do you have your own influences that you each bring to your sound?

Gøril: We listen to a lot of different music. We always mention Sufjan Stevens though.

Lill: We come from different musical backgrounds. There are a few bands that we listen to together, but our personal tastes are very different.

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AJ: Who’s the oldest?

Lill

AJ: Tallest?

Eline

AJ: Funniest?

Lill (according to Lill)

AJ: Who’s best at driving?

Not Lill, maybe Gøril

AJ: Who’s best at cooking?

Eline

AJ: Who plays the most instruments?

They literally list all the instruments they all play and I lost count.