Artist: Thomas Dybdahl Track: "Always" Album: Science

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A musician once said of late folkster Nick Drake that you could play his records, turn up the volume to max and it would never be loud. A similar love of the subtle, the quiet, the pitter, the patter and the calm breath that can make for great pop music dominates the latest offering from Norwegian songwriter Thomas Dybdahl.

Originally released last year, Science will have a bigger stateside push from Recall Records, and I'm thankful for it.

These 11 songs - which sound as delicate as field mice strolling across a hardwood floor - borrow from The Left Banke, Elliott Smith, Belle & Sebastian and other pensive players. They have a symphonic quality - beyond the regular addition of strings - and relish in taking things slow, soft and deliberate.

One of several songs sung by Silje Salomonsen, a fellow Norwegian musician, "Always" is a bit darker, but the sound remains one for daydreaming and thinking of the time you once fell in love in a meadow. Those sung by Dybdahl are a bit jazzier, in the quiet vein of Chet Baker, and just as strong, as if some guy in Norway wanted to show up Norah Jones.

He does.

I'll put this in the running for album of the year right now.