Photo: Hans Fredrik Asbjørnsen
The duo GARNESS consists of the two Norwegian twin sisters Ingelin Reigstad Norheim and Hildegunn Garnes Reigstad. The girls grew up in a home filled with music on the island Holsnøy outside Bergen, where the piano play could be heard through the walls in the late hours. They wrote their first songs at the age of 5, inspired by both dad and grandmother. Now 33 years old and well-established as artists and musicians on the Norwegian music scene, they are releasing their long-anticipated, third album, Canyons and mountaintops.
All of the 10 songs on their upcoming album are written by the sisters. The title of the record in a way summes up what they would like to fathom with this compilation of songs - life itself, with all it’s ups and downs. Doubt, insecurities and struggles alongside faith, optimism and love. Days of confusion and disillusion in dark canyons - and moments of revelation and revealing insight on the top of the mountain. And then some sheer fun, of course.
The girls play a number of different instruments, such as guitars, piano, harps, a variety of percussion instruments, glockenspiel etc, and seek to provide a unique sonic experience for their listeners. Along with their special vocal blend as identical twins, the girls have become known for their musical originality and their personal, engaged way of performing. Listeners who are familiar with Garness’ earlier releases, will notice that there is a more powerful energy on this new album. It has been important for the duo to capture the spirit that evolves when playing together as a band in the recording studio, inspiring each other to explore new ways of expressing the music and what the song is all about. Bassist Tor Egil Kreken (Darling West, Marit Larsen), drummer Thomas Gallatin (Siri Nilsen, Tôg) and keyboardist and co-producer Torjus Vierli (Sigvart Dagsland, Morten Abel), have been important collaborates for the duo during the creative prosess.
Background and previous releases:
Their debut album from 2008, The Good or Better Side of Things, harvested acclaims in the Norwegian media such as «Playful, melodious and original», «a record to settle down with» and «pop-rock that challenge you without being exasperating». When Garness held their release-concert, the Soria Moria theatre in Oslo was filled to the brim with exited fans. This night was the Grande Finale of a five-year-long journey towards the creation of the record. The journey started with a visit to The Rocky Mountains, then brought them further to songwriting sessions and recording in the “city of country music” - Nashville, where they got to work with well-respected and distinguished producers and managers. However, the turning point of the story should eventually come back in Norway, in a modest living room in Oslo, where the girls equipped with a Mac, a microphone and a sound card created their debut album. The record was Garness' contribution to make a world filled with worries into a slightly lighter place, put together with a spicy melody feeling, a spot of stubbornness, a sprinkle of self-irony, and a huge portion of sisterly love.
Their second album, Barnet i krybben, a Christmas album with mostly Norwegian songs, was released in November 2009 and represented more of a break-through for the duo. The Norwegian reviewers embraced the album and one of the most influential newspapers (Dagbladet) named it the “Norwegian Christmas Album of the Year”. The critics acknowledged the duos attempt to make a significantly different and very personal Christmas album, but still let the sweetness of tradition and “Christmasy atmosphere” remain. On this compilation of both traditional Christmas songs and own compositions, the duo developed their expression further towards a folk-pop direction, and dared to leave the music more unpolished than earlier.
On Christmas Eve in 2013, the name Garness became known to bigger parts of the Norwegian population, when the Norwegian broadcasting corporation (NRK) televised a concert with Garness supported by well-acclaimed artists such as Marit Larsen, Elvira Nikolaisen, Karoline Krüger and Sigvart Dagsland. The program was one of the most seen on television that Christmas, and gained widespread appraisal.
To the sisters, playing their music live is the best part and biggest privilege of being artists. They wish to move, inspire and enthuse the audience with their performance, and seek to write lyrics that their listeners can relate to and feel at home in. They’re comfortable in stripped down settings, but love bringing their whole band to the scene, to be able to explore the full range from soft and airy to powerful and haunting. Since the girls went all out on the music business in 2003, they have played hundreds of concerts and events in Norway, but also Denmark, Germany, Holland, Switzerland and Austria. They have a lot of experience as musicians touring with other well-respected artists, and from 2003 to 2009 they were members of the highly acclaimed Oslo Gospel Choir, doing a support set with Garness in every concert. From time to time they are also working as studio musicians and producers in the studio that Hildegunn and her husband Torjus Vierli have build near their home in Grimstad at the south coast of Norway. This is also where Canyons and mountaintops has come into being.
Ingelin Reigstad Norheim
Vocals, acoustic and electric guitars
Hildegunn Garnes Reigstad
Vocals, percussion, autoharp, omnichord, marxophone etc...