Stay Within Range
HM Johnsen Backstory
Welcome to experimental indie/rock artist HM Johnsen.
Still in his early 20s, the Norwegian’s already an accomplished singer, songwriter and composer.
First falling in love with rock and metal, he eventually settled on a blues rock style and released his first album in 2017.
Chased was funded entirely by his local community in western Norway and mastered at Abbey Road Sudios.
The story captured the imagination of Norway’s version of the BBC and was broadcast nationally.
And the exposure earned HM a management deal and gigs across Europe and in America.
Named the Norwegian Blues Union Artist of the Year in 2018, HM suddenly dropped everything to pursue a new musical direction.
A short stay in Berlin spawned a new EP showcasing a new AOR-tinged sound and the pop rock punch of Stay Within Range.
In HM Johnsen’s own words:
“Stay Within Range is a song about a dream I had.
“I dreamt that someone who is very close to me vanished away, while I was floating away in my own world/head.
“So I wrote the song the day after, as a sort of reminder to always give that person all my attention and that I should never take her for granted.”
The verdict on Stay Within Range
An ambient intro. cedes to a progressive, punchy rhythm before a dreamy, Foreigner-esque melody kicks in.
And we’re hooked.
HM’s ability to fuse 21st century power pop with classic AOR might be utterly out of touch with modern musical fashion.
But it’s the sound of a man with a plan.
Gone is the gutsy blues of his formative years.
And in its place a fresh, focused and frankly triumphant soundscape that’s as impressive as it’s immersive.
Elements of Hogarth-era Marillion, the softer side of Von Hertzen Brothers and modern-day Richard Marx make Stay Within Range a rare treat.
What’s next for HM Johnsen
The Serenity EP — featuring Stay Within Range — is out later this month. Check out @hmjohnsen96 on Facebook for details.