Two albums over ten years is a pace few bands can sustain without falling under the weight of their own perfectionism/strained-band-relations/lethargy. But Serena-Maneesh has always been built like that, a band of friends and siblings serving at the pleasure of mastermind Emil Nikolaisen, a mercurial noise/pop lover who’s been as busy tweaking the finer points of S-M’s long-awaited sophomore set as he’s been producing or playing on a large chunk of the independent rock records that spew from his hometown of Oslo, Norway. In fact the Nikolaisen clan is unavoidable in Oslo: Emil and ghost-of-Nico sister Hilma anchor Serena-Maneesh, brother Ivar fronts the Sunset Strip-styled rock band Silver, and sister Elvira Nikolaisen is a chart-topping pop singer in the Norah Jones mold. Family matters aside, five years after releasing Serena-Maneesh, Emil, Hilma et al are ready to release their title-TBA followup this coming March. Their debut was an exciting set of stormy, black magical clatter and pillowy shoegaze guitars tied to moments of sublime pop release. You could hear Isn’t Anything MBV in it, or you could hear it as a sort of gaze-pop fission, where dissonant clamor and airy pop were two sides of the same coin. It’s good news they’re back, and this live take on new cut “Reprobate” is a good sign for what’s coming.


Serena-Maneesh’s next record is out this march on 4AD. Also worth noting: Here’s a look at Emil’s Oslo.

Comments (8)
  1. Alex  |   Posted on Dec 2nd, 2009 0

    They also already released S-M Backwards, which is incredible.

  2. Kasper  |   Posted on Dec 2nd, 2009 0


  3. What a mess, this just sounds like background noise. Totally uninteresting guitar parts.

    • Alan Knut  |   Posted on Dec 2nd, 2009 0

      Good thing music isn’t about poppy lead guitars, otherwise that wouldn’t have been awesome.

      • They are trying to replicate a mbv-esque guitar sound. Too bad that they haven’t spent even a quarter of the time Kevin Shields spent in finding that sound, but they do not have the money or resources to experiment like he was able to. You can’t just sound like MBV, or any good, if you buy a jazzmaster and get some reverse reverb pedal. You need some talent.

  4. I was starting to wonder what had happened to these guys, glad to see they’re finally releasing new material. And btw, Elvira could totally pass for being Sharin Foo’s twin sister.

  5. jknee  |   Posted on Dec 3rd, 2009 0

    I guess you’re not familiar with nuances. To only base your judgement of this song or anything else SM has done, on a flakey comparison to MBV (who are awesome, and maybe one of the many brushstrokes SM have in their arsenal) is downright ignorant. Congratulations on making yourself sound like an idiot.

  6. Kasper  |   Posted on Dec 3rd, 2009 0

    Haha, agree! SM have actually spent over a year recording underground in a bunker, focusing on finding the right sounds for the new album.

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