Graham Reid | | 2 min read
One of the most interesting and some might say unusual, interviews Elsewhere published this past year was with musician/artist and translator Noemie M Nours from Sweden, also known as Noemie Dal and who releases albums as noemienours.
We came across her on her fourth album Tardigrade Bounding which remains strange, charming, fascinating and . . . different.
She described her alt.folk music as, “All-ages bear-saving non-ideological vegan drug-free home-recorded lullabies from the forests of Sweden”.
Bears are central to her life, music, art and self-definition.
As she explained in that interview, “In my early childhood, I received a Grams Bear teddy which I still have, which became my surrogate mother, who had a deeper understanding of things, and also she was cool because she was cooking pies and playing the electric guitar. The name ”noemienours” actually comes from that.
“Grams Bear is 'Maminours' in French, so I felt like Grams Bear was my true family with a real deeper meaning, that my family could not understand at all. I do not have any contact with my family today, because they are simply too superficial”.
We said her very-very alt.folk album was “about as 'elsewhere' as we have heard in a very long time”.
Anyone who follows the boundary riding (and beyond) music which Elsewhere writes about would know that is really saying something.
And frankly, noemienours/Noumie M Nours – who came to New Zealand in 2018 – really is something.
This book of her lyrics and artwork is a gently unfolding collection where he connection with bears – “obsession” would wrongly and pejoratively characterise her – is revealed through her quiet, thoughtful poems/lyrics and art which, at one glance may appear child-like but which are as simple and as evocative as her words and the handwritten lyrics and keyboard notations included.
Her chapter of lyrics for the album Kiwis Are Not Bears is blank and she says it was “was cancelled for obvious reasons”.
You need to read that interview again.
On her final page she says this modest but rather lovely little collection (that's our description there), was intended to give the lyrics back “their prevalent position inside the songs, which can and has been overlooked . . . where they can be enjoyed on their own, as a poetry book would have been, would they not have been cursed by the fact that they were lyrics for songs”.
That intention is certainly successful here and these lyrics – which can and maybe should/could be read for their metaphoric depth – are as lovely, child-like (not childish) and as charming as the art which accompanies them.
The work and thoughts of noemienours is, as we have said, “strange, charming, fascinating and . . . different”.
You can find this book for PDF download or limited edition print at bandcamp here where you can also hear and buy all her albums.