Norway is known for many things, but two come to mind immediately: extreme light variation between seasons and black metal. From November to January, the country enjoys precisely zero days of sunlight, a fact that helps understand where bands like Mayhem and Dimmu Borgir come from, both musically and ideologically. Fortunately, though, the grim and seemingly never-ending polar night is always followed by continuous sunshine: for at least 76 days, to be exact.
To twist a famous Dire Straits lyric: there should be laughter after pain, there should be sunshine after rain, there should be something overwhelmingly uplifting after black metal.
And there is. Meet Sigrid, a singer-songwriter raised in Ålesund, a port town on the west coast of Norway. Her debut album “Sucker Punch” is easily among the best pop offerings of the year, and as she proved during a recent Lollapalooza after show, electropop is alive and well even without Pro Tools and pitch correction.
Clichés can hurt, but there is something unmistakably Nordic about Sigrid. Her dynamic, yet somewhat humble stage presence is driven by vigorous down-to-earth confidence, something many acts, especially as young as her, tend to lack. Nordic or not, Sigrid made Chicago believe she could power up the whole city, should electricity abandon us for any reason. In a way, she did.