Looking like he just stepped from the set of a BBC 4 Nordic crime series comes Daniel Borge, the latest in an ever growing list of artists from the Nordics who not only perform Americana but perform it exceptionally well. He has enlisted Grammy award-winning producer Brad Hill and has made an intriguing single in the shape of Room 208.
Inspired by a stay in a hotel in Nashville this provides a framework for a rich piece of storytelling that we don't really see enough of these days and by perfectly matching the narrative to a suitably off kilter backing, "Room 208" is an undoubted winner from the very start.
The sound of this record is the first thing that lures you in starting with a spooky combination of guitar and keyboards that immediately unsettle the listener. Midway through the song has a lovely bluesy rock feel to it that is suitably epic to match the tale that goes with it. The lyrics are almost cinematic
"The smoke of the cigarette blows past the Non Smoking sign
I pour some Jack Daniels whisky in that empty glass of mine"
There's a lot going on in this song for while Daniel contemplates his future with a bible and a bottle of whisky in "Room 208", there is an illicit adventure occurring in Room 209 just across the hallway.
With a rich yet slightly worn voice ( sitting somewhere between Chris Stapleton and Darius Rucker) that makes the whole song so vivid, Daniel is able to extract a lot of pathos from the lyrics and when he sings
"I'm searching for an answer in this book that's supposed to bring the light
But the wisdom makes it hard to understand so I read between the lines"
the image of a man sat a crossroads is hard to escape.These thoughts coming hot on the heels of smashing a bottle of whisky against the wall after hearing the noises emanating from the opposite room. The contrast between the two rooms palpably clear for all to obeserve.
With some great guitar solos to see out the track and Daniel putting in some awesome vocals, this is someone who could well make a big impact on the Americana market.