Norway has a wide range of good music across various genres – whether it is Folk, Pop, Rock, Metal or Classic. Petter somehow feels at home in all of them. While his music is mostly named as alternative rock or Indie pop with an athmospheric and slightliy melancholic sound, there are also found Jazz elements, electronic sounds or recently classical instruments in it.
Born in 1979 in Alta, way north in Norway, he became fascinated by the Energy of Metallica, and wanted to play. At the age of 15, their song „Fade to Black“ was the key to start playing guitar – and from that moment on, he never put it away. With some school mates he formed his first band, called Burger Heads (haha). He continued, playing in several rock bands, but never quite found the right people, who shared his ambition and vision. The music changed. This was the beginning of his solo career in 2005.
»From this moment on, when I started playing guitar, I wanted to write my own songs. The thought of creating something no one did before, was fascinating.«
– Petter in an interview for metal.de
In 2006 he published his first EP „A Taste of What’s to Come“ – the name kept it’s promise… Being a big fan of the british Metal/Rock band Anathema, one day in 2008, as Daniel Cavanagh played a solo gig in Oslo, Petter decided to hand out his EP to him and they exchanged their e-mail addresses. Petter didn’t expect much. But then, one month later, Danny wrote in a mail that he regards him to be a great songwriter and that they should keep in touch.
»Once I heard Petter Carlsen’s incredible voice and beautiful song writing I felt that he would be part of the inner circle of Anathema for a long time to come.«
– Anathema guitarist Danny Cavanagh
A good friendship evolved and one day Anathema invited Petter to be the opening act on their tour in 2010. Bringing his first album „You Go Bird“ with him, Petters music would now make its way through Europe for the first time. And it got a lot of good reviews.
Soon after this tour, in 2011, Petter released his second album „Clocks don’t count“ – where also Vincent Cavanagh – Anathema’s vocalist – took a part in the song „Built to last“. The album was inspired by the feeling of escaping from the world, the time at night, when you do not have to talk to anyone, not answering e-mails or phone calls. So all songs of this album were written between midnight and 6 am.
With the next album „Sirens“ in 2014 Petter left the familiar path of the more or less typical singer songwriter sound by integrating more electronical elements and prominent beats. Nevertheless the songs are still dominated by his clear voice.
»A highlight is Tiger, made from a faltering hip-hop beat and a dark chord change: as if Radiohead, Sigur Ros and Neil Finn have written a song.«
– German Rolling Stone
Eventful years followed when he worked together with Tim Christensen (DK), Unni Willemsen (NO) and Juliethnorth (NO). With drummer Aleksander Kostopoulos, he formed the Rock duo – „Pil&Bue“ (Bow and Arrow) – in which he is able to let out the other part of himself and rock the stage with an incredible energy. Additionally he could celebrate a success as the vocalist for the German Band Long Distance Calling on their recent album „Trips“ in 2016.
Petter loves to create new sounds, what makes him an artist who is able to surprise with every new release. But the biggest surprise may be his last album „Glimt“ – an album with complete Norwegian lyrics and and more classic and folk influences. It was a great success, escpecially in his home country, and made him win the Arctic Talent Stipend in August 2017, the biggest award in Northern Norway.
»The 2017 winner has released what the jury believes is one of the best albums of the year by an artist from northern Norway. By getting to the roots of the feelings and emotions that make music what it is, and for the first time in his own language, Carlsen has really kicked up some sparks.«
– Andreas Wulff, Director of Public Relations at Eni Norge
With this last album he did not only come home in a musicial way. After a long time living in Oslo, this year he moved back to his original hometown Alta, where he is already working on new songs, and aiming to release new sounds in the not too distant future.