Team Me, who burst onto the Norwegian music scene with their Spellemann (Norwegian Grammy) winning debut album «To The Treetops!» (2011), have ever since then been one of Norway’s most popular and influential indie acts. Led by songwriter and lead vocalist Marius Drogsås Hagen, their numbers as a band have grown, shrunk and evolved over the years.
The period between the band’s sophomore album effort «Blind As Night» (2014) and last year’s sequel «Something In The Making» spanned 8 years. And even though Team Me never quite went away in this period, both the band and their audience felt like last year’s album was a proper comeback.
But as the saying goes, all good things come to those who wait. And that creative surplus of ideas from the years of wandering in the desert means that just over a year after their comeback album, the septet from Elverum, Norway are back with another album.
Heimstaddiktning is a proud, Norwegian literary tradition where the artist returns to their hometown for inspiration. And on Team Me’s fourth album, «Return To The Riverside», Marius Drogsås Hagen found himself writing about his formative years and experiences in Elverum.
Musically, «Return To The Riverside» is also in many ways a «back to basics» affair. The songs, arguably the best collection Hagen has ever written, shine even brighter in the most stripped-down and organic arrangements that Team Me have created to date.
The lyrics are direct, simple and almost chemically free of metaphors and poetic exercises. This is a deeply personal album, dealing with topics as varied as depression and mental health, substance abuse, sweet nostalgia and the great, big love.
«Return To The Riverside» was written and recorded in the shortest amount of time a Team Me record has ever been done. In many ways it’s a dogma project, where Hagen had decided even before he had written a note, to use no more than three months from start to finish. The only thing he had was the album title and a strong will to do things differently than he had on the three previous albums.
The result is a leaner, more mature and focused Team Me. A band who had to look back to move forward, and a collection of songs where the whole is bigger than the sum of its parts.