Here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today, we’ve been listening to the latest single, Don’t Give Up, from Norway’s William Hut.

William Hut with his band, Poor Rich Ones, won a Norwegian Grammy (Spellemannprisen) in 1997 with their album, From the Makers of Ozium. William has continued as a solo artist since then and humbly describes himself as “nothing special, just an average soul among common people.”

Don’t Give Up is a song about living with mediocre self-esteem and everyday anxiety. It is a call-to-action song with a positive and upbeat message to inspire his listeners.

Fading in on synths sounds, Don’t Give Up feels like a song which has been lifted directly from 1986! Drawing easy comparisons to A-Ha, the song could also sit comfortably on a playlist alongside Heaven 17, Duran Duran, Pet Shop Boys or Alphaville. It has a definite mid-80s feel and has authentic instrumentation and stylings for this era.

The lead vocal is pleasant to listen to. It sits very clearly in the mix and is gentle and warm and has just the right reverbs on it to give it that 80s touch. Harmony vocals sit beautifully underneath it and bolster the lead voice perfectly.

We love how the song develops, with instrumentation being continually added in the early sections of the song. The electronic drums are a great touch, and it is clear that careful consideration has been given to creating an authentic nostalgic indie pop song.

The simple message of the song is delivered in such a way that the motivation is evident by the end. The repeated line towards the end is an interesting touch for a song which sits at only just over 2 minutes long. We like that Hut has broken this unwritten rule (it worked for the Beatles and it worked for a great deal of ska music as well). Who says a pop song should be 3 minutes?! Hut has delivered exactly what he wanted to say, repeated his message so that it gets stuck in your head and left the listener wanting more. Perfect!

Ideas from our ears

To our ears. a few cuts in the low mids would reduce some occasional peaks in the vocal track. Small cuts at around 190Hz, 260Hz and 380Hz would make a difference. As always, these are just some ideas from our ears.

Final thoughts

William Hut’s, Don’t Give Up, is a brief but beautiful blast of 80s nostalgia with a positive message. We can’t wait to hear more from this talented Norwegian!