Most musicians prefer safety in numbers over creative transformation. For Norwegian vocalist Randi Tytingvåg, meanwhile, changes have always been an integral part of life. And so, straight after having completed a long European tour, Tytingvåg handpicked new musicians, performed in a theatrical play featuring songs from her albums Let Go and Red and, with the support of Ivar Grydeland (guitar, banjo), Jo Berger Myhre (bass, baritone guitar) as well as Pål Hausken (drums, percussion) took a turn into a new direction. Compared to previous, more jazz- and chansonsinspired releases, Grounding now sees her establishing herself, above all, as an extremely focused singer/songwriter in the proud British-Nordic pop tradition. The eleven original songs resulting from this new approach oscillate between cinematic sentiments, big emotions and intimate statements on how to carve out one's own niche in life.
In an interview for Norwegian daily Aftenbladet, Tytingvåg aptly summarised her concept for Grounding as follows: 'We reduced everything to its essence, while staying true to the origins of the songs. We tried to avoid any unnecessary embellishments. More than ever, my voice and my stories are at the heart of the pieces.' There is nothing egocentric about this gesture, which she has instead described as being driven by humility - significantly, the album's opener is a track playfully dealing with her own 'extreme impatience'. And yet, hiding behind a surface of both airiness and melancholy, there are plenty of serious topics as well. On tracks like 'Paper Tiger', 'Your Way', 'Starbuck' and "Future Song", the Stavanger-born artist is embarking on a quest for truthfulness and honesty in relationships, for fighting current and future fears together. The combination of compelling narratives and immediately catchy melodies is uniquely her own and reminiscent of the unique ambiance of her live appearances, in which diverse moods combine into a deep, colourful stream of sound. And it is always complemented by the duality of her voice, sounding strong and fragile at the same time.
Tender and subtle songs like "Your Way", "All That Is Not Free" and "Relay" are juxtaposed by elegant pieces like 'Inside' as well as Americana-tinged 'Tytingvåg'. Produced by Pål Hausken and recorded in August 2011 on the island Giske outside of Ålesund in the Ocean Sound studio, Grounding has turned into a work of change and diversity - which feels instantly recognisable and atmospherically dense nonetheless. Randi Tytingvåg truly has found her grounding - she is aware of her roots and deeply influenced by the people and nature surrounding her.