Have you heard of Sjur Lyseid? Well, while the name may be a bit difficult to pronounce (or, maybe it’s only difficult for me, that’s cool) his music, however, is anything but difficult to fall in love with. Sjur Lyseid is the man behind The Little Hands of Asphalt, a band hailing from Oslo, Norway, made up of a rotating cast of musicians or ‘accomplices’ as they are referred to on the band’s Myspace page.
The music brought our way by The Little Hands of Asphalt is infectious at the start and this remains a constant throughout Leap Years, the band’s first full length. Whether it is Lyseid’s smooth approach at conveying his message through gentle whisper-like singing or the instrumentation that releases a sweet yellow glow into the air, the sounds of The Little Hands of Asphalt create a comfortable and cozy atmosphere. Leap Years is one of those CDs that needs to be listened to on repeat and it is its aura which makes this entirely possible (at times without even realizing it) and completely enjoyable.
One thing about Lyseid that separates him from a majority of contenders in his genre is the way in which his lyrical content is crafted to make it seem as if each song is a letter, written to specifically to you, the listener. Lyseid, undoubtedly, had a story to tell but the way in which he went about doing so makes the listener feel as though he or she has been written into the script, to answer the call, pick up the mail or sign online and be an outlet for Lyseid. This CD is special in many ways – it is more personal than abstract, it is more specific than vague, it is more involved – and because of its open and honest construction, it welcomes you in with its friendly noise and alluring lyrics.
But patience never was my trade
And the broken back of honesty is thoroughly clichéd
When doubt has built a nest inside your head
All the restlessness that sleeps between us will break the bed
But make no mistake
It’s hard to think that common sense
Won’t pick a fight with consequence
When Fall soon breaks, know that I won’t be around no more
When you find what you’re not looking for in me
The Highway’s Pull
I think that that’s the trouble with seeing things my dear
Nothing is ever clear
And your views were surely accurate
But I’m done with accuracy
Because once I could see the future
But the future couldn’t see me
And now I’m stuck between our teeth
With the lies we couldn’t tame
But at least we keep our chins up as we spit back at the rain
At the beginning of this post, I mentioned that The Little Hands of Asphalt hails from the great country of Norway and I think it would be safe to assume that English is not Lyseid’s native language – but the best part about the entire thing is that without knowing that information ahead of time, you would never have been able to tell. Lyseid is just that good and a talent to be watched. I look forward to hearing more from him in the future and after having yourself a listen I guarantee you will too!