No instrument is better at creating the Christmas spirit than the human voice.On the new Christmas album “Lengt etter lys” [Longing for light] the ensemble PUST (Breathe) demonstrates this convincingly.
PUST is unique in Nordic vocal music. A large fan base enjoys their records, and the concerts they are giving these days before Christmas get listeners to sit back, loosen up and let go of their stress. The ensemble has written its own new songs and offers refreshing interpretations of others’ compositions, inspired by jazz, ballads and folk music.
Now before Christmas 2020 they are releasing their sixth album; “Lengt etter Lys” [Longing for light], a Christmas record following their widely acclaimed release from 2011, “Julero” [Christmas peace].
The new album, release date 13 November, offers several new Christmas songs written by the members of PUST, in addition to such classics as “Julekveldsvisa” (Ready for Christmas Eve), “Nu vandrer fra hver en verdens krok” (Pilgrims to Bethlehem), “Ei rosa har utsprunge” (A Spotless Rose Is Growing), “I denne søte juletid” (At This Joyful Christmastide) and “I den kalde vinter” (In the Bleak Midwinter). In the years since their previous Christmas record a new song has been added to their repertoire each year, and most of these are now included on the album, counting 15 tracks.
PUST is: Camilla Susann Haug (soprano), Anne Hilde Grøv (soprano), Elisabeth Anvik (alto), Jostein Hasselgård (tenor), Håvard Gravdal (baritone) and Mads Iversen (bass). As with “Julero”, “Lengt etter lys” has been produced by Erik Hillestad and recorded in Kulturkirken Jakob by Martin Abrahamsen.
Since its start in 2003, PUST has released five albums, all critically acclaimed, and earning nominations to the Spellemann award and CARA Awards (the acapella genre’s Grammy), and a number of very good reviews by and praise from Norwegian reviewers.
The six singers combine the personal expressions of each performer with a rare homogeneity as an ensemble. They unite voice play, fresh vocal arrangements and appealing entertainment in their live performances, where many songs and all the arrangements have been written by members of the group. The vocal ensemble is well known for its appealing Christmas repertoire, with Julero as one of the bestselling albums in Norway in 2011, chosen by the major Norwegian daily Aftenposten as one of the Christmas albums you absolutely should have on your shelf together with Elvis, Sinatra, Fitzgerald and Wesseltoft.
PUST’s calendar is bursting with national and international concerts and events, around 50 a year, but of course reduced this Corona year 2020. But PUST is still holding ten concerts, including one in Kulturkirken Jakob in Oslo on 13 December.
Photo Credits: (1)-(2) Pust (unknown/website).