Astrid S @ The Social 20th April 2016

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Astrid Smeplass is a talented Norwegian singer/ songwriter who made her name for herself on the 7th season of Idol (Norway’s version of Pop Idol) back in 2013. Back then she finished 5th in that competition which is a massive achievement given the amount of people who audition just to make it through.

Anyhow currently supporting Troye Sivan on his UK/ Europe tour, Astrid S found time on her day off to perform a headline show at an intimate venue which was The Social. I have been wanting to see Astrid for a while, as I adore Scandi Pop music.

It was nice that this show was an early one, doors were at 7pm and Astrid S was on at 8pm. The sold out audience also consisted of plenty of Norwegian’s. At present Astrid only has four songs out there the most recent being the single Paper Thin which is an incredible pop tune.

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At 8.04pm Astrid Smeplass took to the stage sporting a denim jacket. The set consisted of 8 gorgeous cuts lasting for a mere 30 minutes. This short but sweet set showcased off Smeplass’s ability at writing marvelous pop tunes. The delectable Paper Thin kickstarted what would be an incredible evening. Now this tune was sweetly delivered and it was aided by superb lyrics which resulted in everyone singing along. Its highlight had to be the delicious chorus which oozed bundles of energy “Bursting out, no, I can’t take it/ You really wore me down/ Read my mind just like I’m naked/ There’s no hiding now/ I’m paper thin, paper thin/ Paper thin, paper thin/ Paper thin, paper thin/ Paper thin”. Now the beats had myself moving on the spot. Still this cut was well crafted and delivered to perfection.

Following on it was then Hyde. Given the fact Paper Thin is the first single to be taken from the forthcoming Astrid S EP makes it pretty definite that both this and 2AM wont feature. Having played in the dark for the first song, the spotlights then came on. The lighting was OKish but not great. Despite all this the compelling Hyde was a slick jam with infectious lyrics which had me nodding my head. My favourite part had to be the spoken 2nd verse. Astrid actually wrote this after reading the story about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I have to say this was a hell of a song which had been delivered to perfection.

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The next two songs featured on the set list were brand new cuts and it’s no doubt that they will feature on the upcoming EP (come to think about it all the new songs bar Hyde, 2AM and possibly Running Out will feature on this mini album). Aside from all that it was onto Jump. I must say this was a sparkly tune which left me completely hooked. This was a work of art aided by an impeccable sweet vocal delivery, outstanding infectious lyrics as well as an entrancing melody. “I’m releasing my debut EP this May” Smeplass said before tackling the second from that release and that coming in the form of Hurts So Good. I must say this is a right belter. Now I have to say this was a beautiful electro pop song which had vibrant verses as well as that contagious chorus “When it hurts/ But it Hurts So Good/ Do you take it/ Do you break it off/ When it hurts/ But it Hurts So Good/ Can you save it/ Can you save it/ Your love is like/ Your love is like/ You look so good/ Your love is live”. Hurts So Good was a luscious track which had been perfectly written by Astrid. Whilst I love Paper Thin this song is a whole new level.

“This was my first single” Smeplass said before getting stuck into the funky and fresh 2AM. I really liked the delectable lyrics especially the chorus which packed a punch“Two in the morning, I can’t control it/ Lost in the moment, I just can’t get no sleep, eh/ Two in the morning, everything’s frozen/ I keep on falling and I just can’t get no sleep”. Plenty of people sang along and it is no surprise because this was one infectious jam. It went down a treat and was a pleasing song which again had me moving. It is ashame that this wont feature on the Astrid S EP because this cut is a force to be reckoned with. Sublimely delivered with a sweet vocal delivery 2AM was smothered with plenty of gorgeous electronic beats and captivating upbeat lyrics.

Straight after it was time for a bit of Running Out. This was a Matoma tune which Astrid featured on. Now Matoma is a Norwegian DJ similar to the likes of Calvin Harris. Anyhow this tune was both beautiful and tender with lyrics which left me hooked. As the song progressed the electronic beats came in which transformed this into an upbeat jam. Everything about this was spectacular, bundles of energy flowed from Smeplass’s vocals along with compelling lyrics.

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The two tracks which ended the splendid evening were again brand spanking new. It was then time for I Don’t Wanna Know. As new songs go this was incredible and extremely beautiful/ tender at the same time. “The minute you laid your head to rest/ You start to feel it in your chest/ You’re having second thoughts/ You just wanna talk/ But I’m doing everything I can just to get over you/ So when you clear your throat and reach out for your phone/ Think I know exactly what you wanna say but don’t/ Coz I don’t wanna know”. When I hear songs for the first time I mainly focus on the melody and the melody for this was rather dreamy. When I hear them again I focus on the actual lyrics, yes I Don’t Wanna Know is a beautiful sounding song but it’s heartbreaking at the same time. This whimsical tune details a couple who break up, the guy has moved on but the girl still harbours feelings despite trying her hardest to get over him. Straight after it was then onto the set closer and this being Atic. It started off with Smeplass smashing the cymbals with a drumstick. “I know where you run, I know you run, run too/ Let me be the one/ Let me be the one/ Show you how it’s done/ Crash into the sun “. This was a phenomenal number which had plenty of energy oozing from the performance. Astrid literally delivered this epic tune with plenty of gusto and it ended what had been an outstanding evening.

SET LIST

Paper Thin
Hyde
Jump
Hurts So Good
2AM
Running Out
I Don’t Wanna Know
Atic

OVERALL: The whole performance left me lost for words. Astrid S is a true talent who has the knack for writing killer pop songs. After hearing her own composition of Shattered which she performed on Idol at the age of 16 showed how good she actually is.

Whilst the Astrid S EP won’t feature the likes of Hyde and 2AM judging from what had been performed it is shaping up to be one sweet mini album. Once Astrid had finished she met everyone who wanted to meet her which was a nice touch.

I look forward to the EP and when she returns in the fall.

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