After a lively and varied musical career over the past 20 years, including hit singles in Portuguese-speaking countries, film music for TV shows and a collaboration with Danish actor Hr Skæg, Danish singer and songwriter nikolaj grandjean has now released his latest album The Wide Open – an Americana-inspired album with songs that revolve around the many challenges and facets of love.
Watch the video to “Beating Up A Grown Man”, which was released just ahead of the album
The Danish singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist nikolaj grandjean is one of a kind in Danish music, who has come a long way in this world in music and through collaborations with other creative souls. As a songwriter, guitarist and co-singer in the band, grandjean released three albums and received two Danish Grammy nominations before releasing his first solo album Carrying Stars under the name n* grandjean in 2008. The album was a great success, not least the single, “Heroes And Saints“, which became a hit in Brazil and Portugal, and “Shift To Reverse“, which also gained prominence through its appearance on the TV show “House Of Lies“.
Since then nikolaj grandjean has released two solo albums Fairly Young (2011) and Rivers and Oceans (2012). In 2014, these albums were merged under the name Together and released via Embassy of Music as the first release under the name Grandjean. He also had a giving creative collaboration with Mikkel Lomborg, also known to Danish children as the beloved character Hr Skæg, with whom he co-wrote the music for the series under the same name. Lomborg was also a member of grandjeans solo band and together they played many shows around the world.
nikolaj grandjean’s songwriting is an analogue, artisanal, melodic and sensitive musicality that includes personal stories of love and their different phases and facets. Today, his focus is more than ever on the essence of the song, the intimate and the performance, which can also be heard on the 2020 EP Seven Wild Horses, which is also the first release under the moniker nikolaj grandjean.
Now Nikolaj Grandjean is in the starting blocks with his new solo album The Wide Open, which walks in the same earthy Lofi-Americana landscape as the current EP. Grandjean produces and plays most of the instruments himself, while British visual artist John Mckie contributes his naive and humorous artwork. An important partner on the record is guitarist David Hertz. Together, the two are immersed in grandjean’s predilection for the old American-inspired country tradition, in which Bob Dylan and Townes Van Zandt are among the most important performers. The most important thing here is the essence – a naked staging, the simple, moving melody and the honest lyric that revolves around the human condition, not least love, which is the thematic focus on The Wide Open, explains grandjean:
“The Wide Open is a natural extension of my previous titles ‘Carrying Stars’, ‘Fairly Young’, ‘Rivers and Oceans’ and ‘Together’, all of which – for me – something about cohesion and the little self within the to convey the great whole and the strong forces that nature is. That is the vastness, the great, the possible, the uncontrollable, the beautiful and the dangerous, and the open heart, or the dream or the idea of it. And then the Abbreviation ‘TWO’, which of course is 2 – that’s the thematic core.“
So, The Wide Open is the adult, experienced person who is still out and about in the wild landscape of love and community – perhaps cautious and occasionally in doubt, but with the need to belong. In this way, The Wide Open frankly formulates the artistic vision of grandjean – to have a dialogue about what is so important to him; to express oneself confidently about the vulnerability and loneliness, which is a basic condition that no one in existence will ever evade.
2. Try and Hold On
3. Beating Up A Grown Man
4. Your New Friend the Road
5. Heart of Stone
6. Where the Blood Runs
7. The Weight of a Train
8. Red Chest Robin
9. Child Knows
10. Always Too Young to Know
11. Long Ago is Long Ago