Dust to Digital: Light in the Attic Reissue Karin Krog’s “Ode to Billy Joe”

Nordic jazz for your turn down.
By    April 28, 2015



Will Schube something something

Among dusty photo albums and childhood board games lies this little gem from Karin Krog. The latest among a long list of stellar releases, the forthcoming Karin Krog anthology is just another example of Light in the Attic’s chokehold on the re­issue game. Krog, a Norwegian jazz singer, belongs in the same camp as their Lewis releases; sexy lounge music for late nights and early, early mornings.

“Ode To Billy Joe,” the record’s first single, tries to quantify swagger in piano stabs and rapturous bass. If Thundercat were a 60s jazzer, his licks would probably sound like the straight filth that pushes “Billy Joe” into the territory reserved for the hardest of bop. The drums dip and bounce, delicately sliding across the track’s contours. All this serves a greater purpose: Krog’s voice.

Lying somewhere between the club scenes of Holden Caulfield’s neurotic nightmares and Billie Holiday, Krog’s smooth style is fiercely seductive. The track lasts over eight minutes but seems to blow by in nearly half that, as a multi-­minute sax solo brings sustained goodness—before the band loosens its structure and Krog leads us to glory. The anthology isn’t out for a few months, but “Billy Joe” offers enough to tide the listener over. Whether it ushers you from late nights into early mornings or quiets you down after those early mornings turn into tired afternoons, “Ode To Billy Joe” is the perfect prescription.

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