If America wasn’t quite ready for the full Bernie Sanders, his presidential run has at least drawn much attention to essential quality of life versus profit issues. And the looming threat of a Trump presidency has certainly found many vowing to decamp to the more egalitarian lands of Canada, Holland and Scandinavia.
Norway, for one, augments universal education and healthcare by also being a fervent cultivator of the arts, decisively supporting its creatives in their search for life’s great truths. And Oslo’s thriving music scene is actually responsible for one of our absolute new favorites, the intriguingly monikered Highasakite. Their excellent sophomore album, Camp Echo, shot straight to #1 on the Norwegian charts, partly on the strength of the first two singles, the hauntingly visceral, “Someone Who’ll Get It,” and the exuberant slice of mod synth-pop that is “Golden Ticket.” Their songs combine the joyful disco-pop hooks of ABBA and Erasure with the enigma and sonic intricacies of Fever Ray.
As they prep for European festival dates (including Glastonbury on June 24) followed by a string of US shows, kicking off with an appearance at Brooklyn’s Rough Trade September 6, we asked them to guide us through the places they frequent most when back in their dynamic, modernistic home city of Oslo.
Oslo has become a haven for great food. Kolonihagen at Frogner is best for local and eco-friendly dining. Maaemo at the Opera House is a must, if you have the budget and are inclined towards Michelin-starred restaurants. Lokk, close to Rockefeller Music Hall, has great dishes like smoked mackerel with grilled carrots and green pea soup with scallops & pomegranate. Head to Illegal Burger for Oslo’s best burgers.
Coffee and beer, that’s what we’re doing in Norway these days. The most amazing coffee in town is at the famous Tim Wendelboe at Grünerløkka. And when we say amazing, we really, really mean it! Great microbrewed beer can be found at Oslo Microbrewery at Majorstua. If creative cocktails are your thing try No.19, Fuglen or Himkok, all in the city center.
Blå is one the coolest spots in Oslo, with quality live music like Omar Souleyman and Deerhof and a great clubbing scene. Angst Bar is good when you want a more casual hang with friends. Parkteatret draws acts the likes of Yeasayer and Autechre and puts you right in the middle of the hip Grünerløkka.
Check out Hevn in Torggata for cool Scandinavian designer labels like Black Rat, Killer Brigade and Bibi Chemnitz. Vintage Guitar, also in Torggata, is the best guitar shop in town.