Premiere: Alfred Hall’s “Pearl Diver” & the Never-Ending Search for Happiness

Alfred Hall © Pernille Wangsmo
Alfred Hall © Pernille Wangsmo
A free-feeling song in constant motion, Alfred Hall’s “Pearl Diver” is an ode to the long game – our everlasting struggle for happiness and the obstacles that stand in our way.

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It’s hard to find happiness if you’re always searching for it: For the night is dark, and full of terrors. Friends become foes; unexpected challenges meet you at every twist and turn. We’re all in search of some sort of satisfaction, thus we can all take something away from Alfred Hall’s latest single: A free-feeling song in constant motion, “Pearl Diver” is an ode to the long game – our everlasting struggle for happiness and stability, and the obstacles that stand in our way.

Pearl diver
Taste the cool morning air
Limbs are worn
But you know she is near
Floating high
Above those alien trees
Down below
Whispers sand and sharp reefs
Listen: “Pearl Diver” – Alfred Hall
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Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Pearl Diver,” the latest single from Norwegian duo Alfred Hall. Formed in 2009, the dreampop duo of Hans Thomas Kiær (guitar) and Bjørn Tveit (vocals), Alfred Hall push the boundaries with a chill, vibing sound and a refusal to conform to “traditional” musical standards. Case in point: “Pearl Diver” completely changes its melody halfway through, pouring into a keyboard and synth jam before resolving at the end.

This isn’t Alfred Hall’s first rodeo: The band’s 2013’s debut album Wilderness, released exclusively in Norway, was nominated for “Best Pop Album” in the Spellemannsprisen (Norwegian Grammys). Alfred Hall’s first worldwide release came in 2014 with the Alfred Hall EP, a solid 4-track introduction that was followed by singles “The King of Cape” in 2015 and “I Wanna Take You Away Now” in 2017. “Pearl Diver” is the duo’s first release of 2018, in anticipation of a new upcoming LP to be released later this year.

Pearl Diver - Alfred Hall
Pearl Diver – Alfred Hall
Pearl diver
You won’t quit her until you die
Under water
Still your vision never blurs
Under water
You’ve made plans for you and her
Pearl diver
All along in the dark
Faith is worn
Still you’ll turn every rock

“Pearl Diver is about one’s perilous, never-ending search for happiness, and the alluring deceptions one must battle along the way,” Kiær and Tveit explain. The track has this warm laid-back tone that deceives the listener, hiding the song’s melancholy undercurrents.

Alfred Hall © Pernille Wangsmo
Alfred Hall © Pernille Wangsmo

Life is hard! It takes steadfast determination and a lot of resilience to hold your own: “Under water, still your vision never blurs,” the band sing in their catchy chorus. “Under water, you’ve made plans for you and her.” We are reminded that, in looking for satisfaction, we’ll never quite get what we’re looking for – that happiness is not brought by physical comforts, or having people or things.

Some day when you’re far away
Leading the life of your dreams
Will you cease to wonder what is yet to be found?
And some day when you’re far away
Splitting by the seams
Will your restless mind refuse to be bound?
Some creatures hide in the deepest abyss
Where darkness looms heavy, by light still unkissed
Some time you may see them too

Alfred Hall are something of an anomaly – they don’t really sound like any other band out there right now; at least, not in the United States. They remind us of Led Zeppelin in their willingness to explore sonic emotion, but their ear for catchier pop structures likens them more to modern rock bands like Young the Giant or Arcade Fire – though of course, they sound like neither. All in all, that’s a good thing: To say that Alfred Hall are unique is perhaps the biggest compliment we could give them, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Pearl Diver” is a standout, feelgood song with a deeper, resounding message; it’s an anomaly in a world overflowing full of soundalikes and throwaways. Stream Alfred Hall’s new single exclusively on Atwood Magazine, and stay up-to-date with the band via their socials below!

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Pearl Diver - Alfred Hall

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? © Pernille Wangsmo

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