Katzenjammer have been floating around on the radar for a while, with a number of well-received UK gigs completed last year, along with plenty of good press and airplay. I was surprised therefore to discover that the group, who are from Oslo in Norway, have yet to release any music in the UK. That is set to change very soon however.
Katzenjammer are an all-female band who formed in 2005. They have released two albums in their native Norway to both critical and commercial success. Throughout 2011 though the girl’s have been developing a following throughout the UK, with a solid festival schedule introducing audiences to their riotous folk-pop cum gypsy-punk sound.
The name Katzenjammer itself is a German word, literally meaning a cat howling, or a discordant sound. In many ways this is an accurate metaphor for the group’s sound, which is incredibly varied, with a whole mess of influences and styles exampled. Katzenjammer’s music is mostly folk inspired, with Scottish and Irish folk being sourced in particular. There is also plenty of Balkan folk influences, country pop, swing, and bar room jazz in their music as well, so much so that the music sweeps in focus from track to track. One minute the group sounds like Golgo Bordello, then on the next track they sound like The Puppini Sisters, then the next they sound like Dolly Parton. It is a total mess at times, but very enjoyable with it.
Katzenjammer’s music is not only stuffed with genres and influences, but it is also chock full of instruments too. The four girls are all multi-instrumentalists, and can play over 25 different instruments between them, including accordion, melodica, balalaika and zither. They also have some lovely voices too, switching easily from pretty, soft vox to a more punchy, attitude-ridden style seamlessly.
Katzenjammer’s debut album A Kiss Before You Go is set for release in May 2012, and their debut UK single I Will Dance (When I Walk Away) is scheduled for March.