Here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today, we’ve been listening to the latest single from the Down South Pepper Band. Their latest single, The Funny Part, was released on April 5, 2023.
We’ve previously reviewed the Down South Pepper Band, and have always been impressed with their musicianship, ability to tell stories and their commitment to outlaw country music that sounds straight out of Nashville, despite them being a Norwegian band.
The accompanying video to The Funny Part is littered with beautiful scenery from Finnmark, the very north of Norway, and it feels slightly incongruous to be listening to a country song from a guy in a Stetson surrounded by snow! Still, we love the Down South Pepper Band, and we are impressed with their authenticity in a genre whose roots are so far from their own.
The Funny Part is a more traditional country track than previous releases we’ve heard from the Down South Pepper Band. From the moment the song starts, you know what you’re getting! This is a straight-up classic country-sounding track.
The instrumentation fits perfectly with this genre of music, with some gorgeous country picking in the guitar solos and incidentals, and some good use of slide guitar. The guitars are occasionally panned left or right to add some extra interest for the listener.
The vocals are perfect for this style of classic country and at times, the vocalist’s voice does a little wobble/break that is so typical of this style. There are some perfectly placed harmonies that bolster the lead, and the lead vocal is very upfront in the mix, telling a story about how some people and some little things in life weigh up for the less good things we all experience in life. We liked the line, “He steals a bit of your soul while you’re thinking ‘he’s getting old.’”
On this track you will hear Rune Nyby on vocals and acoustic guitar, Per Øyvind
Mathisen on guitars and bass, Eivind Kløverød on drums and Lars Rune Rebbestad on
steel guitar and piano.
Ideas from our ears
A cut at 100Hz in the bass guitar would reduce a slight resonant peak. A cut around 400-500Hz and again around 8kHz in the vocal track wood reduce some ‘honky’ and sibilant peaks too. To our ears, the vocals may be a little dominant overall. Finally, a light compressor/limiter with maybe 4dB of make-up gain would add some extra thickness as well as raise the volume a little. As always, these are just some ideas from our ears.
The Down South Pepper Band are an authentic country band from Norway. Their musicianship, sense of humour and commitment are a joy to listen to.