Second time coming for Scandi poppers


Childhood friends since pre-school, and musical partners from their teen years onwards, b0ka is a Norwegian five-piece who first made waves in the mid-2010s with their devilishly fun ’Sugar’ EP – a splendid tonic of pop, jazz and club energies. The band went on hiatus in 2016 to focus on other projects, but the pandemic allowed space for b0ka to regroup, revisit old demos and now file their debut album – the excellent ‘Forever, My Friend’.

Why bOka?

This new album draws on a plethora of influences but never spreads itself too thin. The opener, ‘Oh Baby’, is a swaying, melancholic ballad set to soft keys, and a big contrast to ‘Castaway’, which is a brightly danceable number with a killer sax solo. Oh, and you want some flute, jazzy keys, and guitar funk? Try ‘When U Touch Me’. How about some tropical ambience with truly head-shaking percussion? That’ll be ‘Fjompin 67’.

Then there’s the two-part ‘Stone Cold Girl’ – the first part combines guitar jaunts with hands-in-the- air electronics, and the second matches slower, echoing vocals with warping synth lines manipulated to within an inch of their life. Totally compelling, this is experimental pop done right, and after hearing ‘Forever, My Friend’, you can’t help but think b0ka’s time has come.

Tell Us More…

For a related, but quite different musical flavour, why not check out Lakeshouse, the house side project from three of the five members of b0ka. Their debut EP ‘Tusen Takk’ was released last year on Paper Recordings, and will set your head bobbing in all the right ways.

‘Forever, My Friend’ is out on Beatservice

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