Norwegian post-punk outfit Permafrost, a band which hails from Molde, Norway, was formed in 1982 by school friends Frode Heggdal Larsen & Kåre Steinsbu. Taking their name from a Magazine song, Permafrost found their sound influence in bands like Joy Division, Pere Ubu, Yello, Fad Gadget, The Cure, Talking Heads, The Residents, Wire, and Wolfgang Press. Permafrost began as a lo-fi affair, but their intricate, unique songs were heavily influenced by Norwegian authors Knut Hamsun and Jens Bjørneboe.
Despite only being able to play private shows due to their age, the band’s audience grew. But after several line-up changes, Permafrost decided to deactivate for a while by the mid-eighties. After a brief revival in 1992, the band went into cold storage once again until 2001. Robert Heggdal, an old friend of Frode and Kåre, joined the band. Another Moldenser ex-pat called Trond Tornes joined the crew, bringing a rich history of musical influences, and Permafrost was reborn again, solidifying the lineup in 2016 with the addition of Englishman Daryl Bamonte on synths.
After recently celebrating the band’s 40th anniversary, their latest offering, “Come Back To Surprise”, is deceptively mellow: the song provides hope within the confines of allusion to a dystopian near-future, persisting with a relentless surge. The accompanying lyric video, set on a snowy highway, is at once bleak and peaceful; foreboding and comforting. One hears elements of Echo and the Bunnymen and Tindersticks in this track.
“Come Back To Surprise initially sets a tone of coldness and loneliness, which is resolved by a story of beauty and shelter,’ says the band.
The video for “Come Back To Surprise” was filmed in Norway by the band, with additional footage shot in Iceland by Mimi Supernova who edited the hypnotic sequence together.
Watch the video below:
“Come Back To Surprise” is available on all platforms on 21st January through their own Fear of Music label and distributed by Secretly Noord. To date, they have released 1983’s Godtment EP, the 2019 Permafrost EP, and three critically acclaimed singles in 2021.
Stream the single here.