Ex Norwegian is an indie rock band that has managed to carve out a unique and adventurous sound
by blending classic songwriting with elements of popsike, garage prog, and powerpop. The band members hail from sunny Miami Beach and have made a name for themselves with their eclectic and genre-bending music.
Despite their Floridian roots, Ex Norwegian takes their name from a Monty Python sketch, which gives you an idea of the band’s sense of humor and irreverence. At the heart of the band is Roger Houdaille, a talented songwriter who has been responsible for the band’s catchy and infectious tunes across their DIY releases.
Ex Norwegian’s music is heavily influenced by the sounds of the 60s and 70s, drawing inspiration from classic bands like the Kinks, Badfinger, Amon Düül 2, and Family. Their extensive catalog of music spans a wide range of styles, from retro slacker garage jams to quirky and deconstructive pop songs.
Despite their love for retro sounds, Ex Norwegian is a band that’s always pushing forward, constantly experimenting and exploring new sonic territory. With their unique blend of influences and their infectious energy, Ex Norwegian is a band that’s sure to capture the hearts of music fans looking for something fresh and exciting.
Ex Norwegian burst onto the indie rock scene in 2008 at the CMJ Festival in NYC, generating buzz with their debut single “Something Unreal” and album Standby. Dan Goldin of Exploding in Sound called the album “an incredibly eclectic mix of powerpop, shoegaze, indie rock, and even hints of stoner rock”. However, the original power trio of Roger Houdaille, Nina Souto, and Arturo Garcia disbanded after the second album Sketch in 2011. By year end, Roger had reassembled the band with original vocalist Michelle Grand and Brazilian guitarist Lucas Queiroz for House Music (2012) featuring guest drummer Eric Hernandez of Wrong. Giuseppe Rodriguez joined the band just in time for a brief US tour.
Ex Norwegian started their association with the South Florida record label Limited Fanfare (The Sh-Booms, Astronautalis & Rickolus) with Crack in 2013. However, tensions within the group led to a radical shift as evident on the ambitious Wasted Lines (2014), recorded in L.A. with co-producer Fernando Perdomo (Linda Perhacs, Ken Sharp). The album’s surprise collaboration between old friends and guest lead vocalist Lucia Perez marked a departure for loyal fans but attracted new listeners.
Pure Gold (2015) featured an inspired collection of obscure covers and a few originals. A tour and Daytrotter recording session followed, providing a glimpse into the sound and material for Glazer/Hazerr (2016), which UK’s Shindig Magazine describes as a “love letter to classic rock ‘n’ roll-based pop”. The band continued with a low-key release Tekstet (Subtitled) and a free 40-track covers BandCamp album, Original Copies, in 2017 leading up to No Sleep (2018).
The ninth album, No Sleep, sees the trio of Roger, Michelle, and Giuseppe crafting straightforward pop/rock songs with effective arrangements and quirky lyrics featuring strong melodies. It was earned top album of 2018 on the UK I Don’t Hear A Single blog.
SOMETHING UNREAL: THE BEST OF…
Released on September 20th 2019 worldwide, this 25-track CD (15-track LP) collects some high points of Roger Houdaille’s 10 years making music with Ex Norwegian. For 2020, Ex Norwegian released new music every Friday for most of the year – on all digital music platforms. This includes plenty of covers, collaborations and preview of upcoming full-length releases.
HUE SPOTTING 2020
On the 10th studio album, Hue Spotting, released on June 5th 2020 worldwide, Roger takes Ex Norwegian on a psychedelic trip. An inspired record of true pop-psych that keeps their melodic sensibilities while exploring new sounds and dimensions, often of a fuzzy variety. Available on digital, CD and Vinyl.
Also released on this day: its sister album, Spotting Hues.
SING JIMMY CAMPBELL
After a non-LP single, “And I, Lover” and the unprecedented COVID-19 Pandemic, Roger invited musical friends from around the world to create the ultimate tribute to unsung Liverpool singer-songwriter Jimmy Campbell. The results released on April 2, 2021 to rave reviews and lots of support from indie community. Available on digital, CD and Vinyl.
As the world began to reopen, Roger reunites with Michelle and Giuseppe to play live across a few dates in 2021.
SPOOK DU JOUR
Their 13th album release, Spook Du Jour, came out in 2022 and is the last to feature Michelle Grand. This album delivers their signature sound while exploring new and exciting directions. Although the band’s future is unclear, they have already begun
re-issuing their previous albums and are in the process of creating a new studio album for 2023.