Track Premiere: The Northern Belle “Chicago (orchestral)”

There’s something quite special about a genuine scene – when bands and singers actively help each other out, add another guitar, maybe blend another voice into the mix just to make the music better.  And there’s a real scene feel to The Northern Belle’s new mini-album ‘The Women in Me‘ (out now on Die With Your Boots On Records) which as well as The Belle features contributions from  Darling West, Ida Jenshus, Louien, Malin Pettersen (who did that band sharing thing with Darling West at Americana-fest way way back in 2020) and Signe Marie Rustad.  The album consists of five new songs and two covers, one of which is Sufjan Stevens’ ‘Chicago‘ and that’s a really special version as it has everyone on it – what a sound. How to top that?  Well, how about a new alternative version using the symphony orchestra Arctic Philharmonic to provide strings and make a version of ‘Chicago‘ which just defines “lush“.

Lead singer of The Northern Belle, Stine Andreassen told us about how this version came about: “I grew up with Sufjan Stevens’s music. His songs has been there for me through my ups and downs, and after spending a lot of time by myself I felt more and more drawn to the familiar and music I used to listen to before. I’m really nostalgic and the pandemic has made it even worse. I missed hanging out with my friends and feeling alive. I missed the old days and I missed playing music with people I love. This cover made it all happen. I finally got to sing with some of my dear friends and people I really adore. We laughed, cried and just got to be in this beautiful moment while recording this song and I’m forever grateful for that. On top of all of that we got the chance to make an epic string version of this song. Anders Hefre did an amazing job and wrote the beautiful arrangement, and The Arctic Philharmonic made it all come to life.

It really is a song that needs a listen, and then maybe listen again and then…hey, why not one time more?


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About Jonathan Aird 1630 Articles
Sure, I could climb high in a tree, or go to Skye on my holiday. I could be happy. All I really want is the excitement of first hearing The Byrds, the amazement of decades of Dylan's music, or the thrill of seeing a band like The Long Ryders live. That's not much to ask, is it?

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