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Album Review

This was Ephemera's definite breakthrough album, the one that finally brought them some serious recognition and foreign record sales. Just listen to the opener, single "Girls Keep Secrets in the Strangest Ways," and you'll probably see why they started attracting more and more listeners. This track is about as enchanting as pop music gets: sweet, sunny female harmonies, positively infectious melodies, and a charming lyric coyly thematizing the girlishness ever-present in Ephemera's artistic output. While none of the other tracks come close to that single in sheer catchiness, there are several beauties among them. The rather tediously titled "Countrysong" is actually another fantastic pop tune unorthodoxly set to a one-two beat, its ascending choruses being among the record's very highlights. Also worth mentioning is the heartbroken ballad "Keep Me Up." Starting out all downbeat, it gradually builds itself up to a climax with strings mildly crescendoing toward the end. After listening to an album as sweet as this in one session, many listeners might desperately need a fix of distorted guitars and thumping beats. This is fully understandable, but not really a valid objection against it. That would be as pointless as criticizing, say, the Stooges for not strumming lush major seventh chords. Its detailed arrangements and supreme, subtle musicianship definitely save this record from being a full-on sugar shock; on the other hand, a few nondescript songs keep Air from being up there with the real greats. It is anyway a highly recommended album for every fan of acoustic, singer/songwriter-tinged pop with plenty of charm and brains.


Formed: September, 1994 in Bergen, Norway

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s

This Norwegian pop trio's name, which the dictionary defines as "a short-lived thing," grows more ironic with each passing day. By the time things really started to take off for Ephemera, the childhood friends had already been playing together for almost ten years. They came together as a group in 1994 in the city of Bergen, and quickly drew attention with their charmingly girlish easy-on-the-ear acoustic pop. They signed a multiple-album deal with record industry giants BMG while still in their...
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Air, Ephemera
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