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In Norway Einar Stray Orchestra is still an underground phenomenon, but if you were to ask a random person on the streets of Berlin about them, it's more than likely that this person has attended one of their concerts. The Indiepop band Einar Stray Orchestra from Sandvika in the outskirts of Oslo released their debut album "Chiaroscuro" 3 years ago, and it was highly acclaimed by the Norwegian music press. Their concerts at the by:Larm festival the same year became the starting point of an international career, and rumours about this young orchestral group from Norway spread quickly throughout Europe. The same year the band also played at Iceland Airwaves and Berlin Music Week.

The following year, "Chiaroscuro" was released internationally and got high praise both from British and German music press. During the release tour in Germany, the band got the experience of their lifetime - over half of the concerts were completely sold out! The band was invited to play in Moscow by Icelandic musician Ólafur Arnalds and did several club tours in Europe before they were invited to do a tour in Russia - this time by the Icelandic band Múm.

When Einar Stray Orchestra played a packed St.Pauli Church at Reeperbahn Festival in autumn 2012. The audience consisted mostly of chatty music industry delegates that sat silent through the whole concert, with tears running down their cheeks. The Scandinavian music magazine GAFFA gave the concert 6 out of 6. Since their debut Einar Stray Orchestra has played over 150 concerts, most of them outside of Norway. During this time, the band has played festivals and club shows in countries such as Germany, England, Denmark, Iceland, The Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Russia, Ukraine, Estonia and Poland.

In the summer of 2013, the band headed to the studio with producer Hasse Rosbach (Moddi, Team Me) to start on their second album "Politricks". The new material was first introduced to an audience on the 1st of January at the annual new years concert in the venerable Volksbühne concert hall in Berlin. All 850 tickets were sold.

The story of Einar Stray Orchestra started when 18-year-old Einar Stray in 2008 met Moddi, a fellow musician from northern Norway. They immediately started playing in each other's bands, released a split vinyl together and played at festivals as Slottsfjell and Træna. Einar Stray still plays keys for Moddi on his recordings and tours, but his main focus the last years has been his own band which he formed in 2010 together with Lars Fremmerlid (drums), Ofelia Østrem Ossum (cello), Simen Aasen (bass) and Åsa Ree (violin). After being mistaken of being a solo project for years, the official transition to being a democratic collective took place in 2014 and the name was changed to Einar Stray Orchestra.

Einar Stray Orchestra's new album has been given the name "Politricks" and is lyrical a strong settlement with childhood heroes and beliefs that shatters when faced with the reality of the adult world. It is a personal story about finding oneself, about adolescent frustration in the middle of a blizzard of different beliefs. It is about losing a friend to death and a fare well letter to God, which was never sent but made into a song instead.

"Politricks" is an album about being ashamed of Norwegian foreign policies - about being from a country that hands out peace prizes with one hand and simultaneously makes weapons of war and builds its extreme prosperity on oil with the other. Musically, Einar Stray Orchestra is inspired by artists such as Sufjan Stevens and Godspeed You! Black Emperor with the same orchestral approach to composing. The songs will be as long as they need to be and where both shouting and whispering colours the soundscape. "Politricks" is a dynamic and colourful album. Dark melancholy and an orchestral sound that meets an accessible pop sound with more shades than in its predecessor "Chiaroscuro". The signature grand piano gets a rest at times in favour of electric guitar and shoegaze influences. "Politricks" takes you from stripped a cappella to noisy rock crescendos. The album is produced by Hasse Rosbach (Team Me/Moddi) and mixed by Nick Terry (Libertines/Klaxons/Serena Maneesh).

Einar Stray Orchestra: Politricks

Honey Einar Stray Orchestra
Politricks Einar Stray Orchestra
Pockets Full Of Holes Einar Stray Orchestra
Thrasymachus Einar Stray Orchestra
For The Country Einar Stray Orchestra
Aleksander Einar Stray Orchestra
Montreal Einar Stray Orchestra
Qualia Einar Stray Orchestra
Envelope Einar Stray Orchestra

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