Nov 29, 2022
By Caleb Campbell
Photography by Fabio Enzo
Norwegian producer, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist Marius Elfstedt has spent the last few years making idiosyncratic and effortlessly cool alt pop under the name Whose Rules. After coming across an abandoned cabin on his family farm and repurposing it into a recording studio, Elfstedt debuted as Whose Rules with a self-titled EP in 2020, followed by a series of collaborative singles with fellow off-beat indie pop singer/songwriter Dev Lemons (“Guessing Games” and “Don’t You See The Time”).
Earlier this year, Elfstedt shared his latest single, “Slow Down,” the first track from a forthcoming project written during quarantine. Today, he’s back with his follow-up, “Somber,” premiering with Under the Radar.
“Somber” is a characteristically ambitious effort from Elfstedt, beginning on a dizzying crescendo of looped samples, booming production, and layers of distorted electronics, only to instantly shift into an intimate acoustic-led verse. From there, Elfstedt packs the track with loads of chilled beats, lushly layered melodies, and subtly catchy hooks, culminating in a gloriously glitchy climax. “Somber” shows off Elfstedt’s talent on as both a songwriter and producer, balancing impressively layered and foward-thinking alt pop with an instinct for instantly catchy melodicism.
Elfstedt had this to say about the track, “‘Somber’ is based on a super old demo I made many years ago (there’s a video of it on my TikTok if you’re curious). I tried quite a few times to finish it for one project or another, but never got it where I wanted it. But I kept going back to it. Finally after making a couple of tracks for this LP I found a way to get it done.”
Check out the song below, out everywhere now, and stream the track here.