Album Premiere: The Hazy Warm Wash of Shikoswe’s Debut ‘Back in the Tall Grass’

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Norwegian artist-to-watch Shikoswe debuts with the alluring ‘Back in the Tall Grass,’ a lush record radiating hazy, hypnotic beauty of her lush sonic poetry.

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Don’t weigh yourself down; take a minute & consider that we are so small, then celebrate & move along…

Nora Shikoswe Hougsnæs is, without a doubt, an artist to watch over the coming years. Making music under the name Shikoswe, the Norwegian indie rock/pop artist has a way of captivating without overwhelming; her music is subtle and refined, alluring in its embrace of space and readiness to dwell in vast, intimate soundscapes. It’s also sweet – yet not in a sugary way; rather, Shikoswe’s enchanting quality comes from the hazy, hypnotic beauty of her lush sonic poetry, and nowhere is this better defined and expressed than in her debut album, Back in the Tall Grass (independently out August 16, 2019).

Back in the Tall Grass - Shikoswe Album Artwork

Back in the Tall Grass – Shikoswe

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering Back in the Tall Grass, a moodily bright array of intimate songs with a mystic glow. “Back in the Tall Grass is partially about a breakup, a new beginning, and then a breakup again,” Shikoswe tells Atwood Magazine. “The sound came about when my partner at the time and I spent some months in my rehearsal space making demos. Then we took the songs to Jørgen Træen who produced the record and lifted it up to it’s final state.”

The process of putting this record together has been about connecting with others and being freer.

We hold hands in the colors from the light
I’m afraid that what you said is right
He’s afraid in the corner of the box
So am I, some days I’d rather die
We hold hands in the colors from the light
I’m afraid that what you said is right
So is he in the corner of the box
And so am I, some days I’d rather die
– “Some Days,” Shikoswe

Packed within Shikoswe’s ethereal daydreams are powerfully poetic lyrics that chase the depths of human experience. Though she defines it in relation to breakups and new beginnings, Back in the Tall Grass is by no means your “classic” breakup record; its songs, though full of heartbreak, tell stories of inner turmoil and reflection; Shikoswe ponders connection, understanding, and knowing as she explores what it means to be an individual, and part of something bigger than herself at the same time.

She also treats her audiences to nuggets of knowledge that extend well beyond one situation. “Don’t weigh yourself down; take a minute and consider that we are so small, then celebrate and move along…” we’re told in the stellar single and fitting album closer “Swimming.” “Don’t weigh yourself down; true, you never asked to be wrong, but that leaves all the more freedom of choice. It’s all the same: Swimming or drowning in a haze.”


There’s something far deeper and exciting going on in Shikoswe’s music: Whether it’s the lament of “Two Heads in a Room,” the somber soliloquy of the title track, or the hopeful glint in “Good Intentions,” these songs detail an artist’s cathartic reckonings with forces in and outside of her control. In painting such illustrative portraits of her intimate experience, Shikoswe has created for all of us an opportunity to dwell in deep pools of wonder. Whether we choose to listen close or bask in its summery bliss, Back in the Tall Grass is a joy to experience and an exciting first full-length offering from this Atwood artist-to-watch!

Experience the full record via our exclusive stream, and peek inside Shikoswe’s Back in the Tall Grass with Atwood Magazine as she goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of her intimate debut album!

Stream: ‘Back in the Tall Grass’ – Shikoswe


:: Inside Back in the Tall Grass ::

 Back in the Tall Grass - Shikoswe Album Artwork

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Some Days

He’s afraid in the corner of the box, makes me think of, Nobody put’s baby in the corner.” I don’t like being cornered, but a lot of the times I think the sense of cornering is self-inflicted.

Two Heads in a Room

I wrote this song when I spent a week alone in my grandmother’s cabin in the confusion of a breakup. When I released it as a single earlier this year I recognized that it’s also about conflicting sides of me, oblivion vs. self love. Also, stalking people online hardly ever gets me closer to knowing how I feel about them.

Secret Bower

This one came out as a sort of cryptic gathering of words. At the time when I wrote the lyrics I would daily go out searching for new green spots in the city cause it made me feel more alive.

Back in the Tall Grass

The melody and lyrics had been laying around in my brain for years, but when Kjetil (main collaborator on the record) showed me some chords that had been laying around in his brain for years, and then proceeded to press the sweetest saddest tones on my casiotone, it fell into place.

To The Dogs

I would say this is the pre chapter to a phoenix bird situation. Blowing stuff up does make space for something new.

Good Intentions

I find the concept of intention interesting. Is having good ones always enough in a relationship? I have some experience with diving head first out the door, wondering where my own intentions really came from.

Tiger Eyes

I think this one is also about intentions. Intentions, perception, connection and the ways in which a dynamic ultimately plays out.

Eyes on You

In my experience falling for someone involves a lot of recognizing, and sometimes it’s about conjuring something up in another.

From The Start

So this one turned out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Swimming

This is an anthem for the stubborn mind. Presence is a virtue and I wanna dwell in it, as much as I can really.
Stream: ‘Back in the Tall Grass’ – Shikoswe

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 Back in the Tall Grass - Shikoswe Album Artwork

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The Breakdown

Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com