Pål Moddi Knutsen comes from the remote and blustery northern Norwegian island of Senja, in the bipolar land of the summer Midnight Sun and winters of total darkness (only lit up by the Aurora Borealis). With a borrowed accordion and a sea-blue guitar, he began captivating listeners with music that has been described as a blend of Damien Rice and Bjork.
The talented and original young musician’s live performances – sometimes solo, sometimes with a band of string instruments, drums and piano – spellbind his audience into a silent trance, as they are drawn into the almost magical atmosphere of his music. After super-producer Valgeir Sigursson (Bjork, Kate Nash, Cocorosie, etc.) heard Moddi’s music on a bedroom demo never intended for official ears, he invited Moddi to Iceland to record the debut album “Florigraphy” in 2009. When given previews of the upcoming album, Norwegian music journalists responded overwhelmingly enthusiastically, and, shortly after its release in early 2010, without ever having a radio hit, Moddi’s debut album shot into the top ranks of the sales charts in Norway.
But that was just the beginning. After touring Norway up and down, captivating both audiences and the media, he was awarded the prestigious “a-ha stipend” earmarked to help Norwegian artists bring their music to an international audience. After the award was announced, jury foreman Magne Furuholmen of a-ha, said of Moddi: “He has a very strong stage presence [and] he makes me feel a little happier to be Norwegian… He writes interesting songs that he performs in a tender and credible way. “
At about this time, his music found its way to Angus and Julia Stone – the acclaimed Australian double-platinum selling brother & sister act – who invited Moddi to be their support band for their mostly sold-out European tour. At packed performances around Europe, Moddi was met with standing ovations, an unusual feat for a support band.
Moving ahead, Moddi is preparing for the international release of “Floriography” (in April 2011), and will be touring extensively with his band throughout Europe in conjunction with the release.
"Quietly intense acoustic guitar, smoldering strings, and a haunting Norwegian-accented voice caught my ear like a tractor beam. This was Moddi, who hail from some tiny island in the north, and who nobody I spoke with knew much about but everyone seemed impressed with. While I enjoyed the National’s dark, rootsy take on U2 (...), I enjoyed Moddi’s modest quietude even more.” (Brian Howe, Pitchfork)