ALBUM OF THE MONTH: Okta by KEiiNO (May 2020)


OUT: now

TRACKLIST: Take Me Home; Black Leather; Would I Lie To You?; Spirit In The Sky; Dancing In The Smoke; Roar Like A Lion; Praying; Colours; Louder; Bed With The Wolf

A year ago in Tel Aviv Norwegian trio KEiiNO won the Eurovision Song Contest televote eventually finishing sixth overall with our favourite song of that year’s competition, the soaraway pop smash Spirit In The Sky.

  • Read on for reasons including our thoughts on this album’s four new tracks

A year later and we have an album with four new tracks with a title meaning One in Sámi, the language of band member’s Fred Buljo’s people, and boasting six singles including Spirit.

If KEiiNO have a unique selling point, it is mixing the music of indigenous people with pop music. So there are plenty of Sámi influences thanks to Buljo but artists from other indigenous cultures also feature.

We have collaborations with Aboriginal-Australian group Electric Fields (Would I Lie To You?) and Inuk throat singer Charlotte Qamaniq (Black Leather), indigenous-Canadian rapper Drezus (Louder) and Australian-Māori group Te Hau Tawhiti (Roar Like A Lion).


Of the singles, Praying is memorable because its reggae pop beat reminds of Swedish pop titans Ace Of Base. Although nothing quite hits the pop highs of Spirit, the cheeky wink that is Black Leather is probably the track that will most remind of the song that made KEiiNO’s name.

Female singer Alexandra Rotan makes the most of the new songs and we enjoyed the Little Mix-ish Louder and 80s-sounding Bed With The Wolf in particular.

KEiiNO were founded especially for Eurovision and it’s fantastic to have the band still with us a year later and with a fine debut album under their belts already.

  • Picture via Facebook courtesy KEiiNO. Tickets
  • Have you heard this album or seen this show? Let us know what you thought in the comments below
  • Enjoyed this review? Follow its author on Twitter @NeilDurham, email and check us out on Instagram and Facebook


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