New Release – Juicy Gossip From The Mothership by Todd and Karen

New Release – Juicy Gossip From The Mothership by Todd and Karen

Todd & Karen are a Norwegian-Irish pop duo consisting of Norwegian Øyvind Berge and Irish Ina Verdi-Ruckstuhl. Under this moniker they create their quirky, ironic and melodious indie, steeped in late 60s-Beatlesque psychedelia and American West Coast pop references. The duo themselves cite The Beatles, The Kinks, The Byrds, Beach Boys, Oasis, The Divine Comedy, ELO, Simon & Garfunkel and Monty Python as some of their main influences.

Todd & Karen met at work, both working as schoolteachers at an IB primary school in Kongsberg (Norway) and got to know each other through the social committee. After a period of creating and performing birthday jingles for their colleagues, typically personalized versions of classic hits, they realized that they had a lot of common references when it came to humour, but above all they clicked when it came to the same kind of music. An idea took shape: “Let’s stop messing about and start creating some hits!” Initially called Quirky Haggis, a friend of the band drily remarked: “That’s too much, guys. You’re trying too hard. You might as well call yourselves Todd & Karen.” And from then on, that’s been their name.

In the summer of 2022 they signed a deal with the Danish indie label Sublime Exile Recordings and released their debut EP ‘Approximately Here For A Bit’ and their subsequent singles ‘Blackpool Lights’ and ‘Norwegian Summer’ through them. Their new single is out 13th October.

What inspired you to write ‘Juicy Gossip From The Mothership’?

“What inspired us to write this song is the frustration and anger you sometimes feel for the various gatekeepers you encounter in life. These people who pretend to value your input and invite you to give it, pretend to be creative and thinking outside the box, but then can’t stand it and give you grief when it turns out your input does not conform to or correspond with their rather narrow minded ideas of what is “acceptable”. The kind of people who are only in it for themselves, their own reputation and will throw you under the bus at a moment’s notice if you step out of line ever so slightly.” 

Is this release different from your previous releases?

“Yes, this is the “poppiest” we’ve ever sounded! Usually our songs take on a bit of an old school, 60s Britpop feel. This time we’ve gone down the pop road. It wasn’t really intentional, one thing just led to the other. Initially, the track sounded like a 70s Wings or even uptempo Elton John tune. However, in the studio we came up with this synth riff, this driving bass line and those breezy West Coast “roadtrip” guitars we have on there and it just got way poppier than we’d expected. We just thought – “hey, this train ain’t stoppin’, let’s just keep on ridin’!” To top it all off, through sheer luck of the draw, we got to work with a real hotshot in the music industry as well, someone who has his finger on the pulse and has worked with some real heavy hitters like Beyonce, Toni Braxton, The Script, Il Divo and Billy Joel. His “fingerspitzgefühl” really took the track into some unchartered waters for us during mixing and mastering. We’ve never sounded this current. Unfortunately, for contractual reasons, we are not allowed to mention him by name. We just call him “the Hotshot”. But he really helped us create a mix that we’re really proud of and that has a lot of bite to it.” 

What does this song mean to you?

“This song is special to us. We always try to make each release sound a bit new and fresh compared to the previous, but with this one we feel we’ve managed to sound quite modern. It’s been fun dabbling in the world of pure pop for a bit and feel like we succeeded at it. It’s quite a departure from our trademark sound, so we’re quite proud that we dared to follow the song where it took us and give it the soundscape it deserved. It just felt special from the moment we started writing it, through the studio sessions and the mixing process with “the Hotshot” until we arrived at the finished article. A magical journey.” 

Is the song autobiographical?

“Like all good art, to a point.” 

Is the release accompanied with a music video?

“There will be a music/lyric video release which you will soon be able to find on our official YouTube channel, our label Sublime Exile Recordings’ official YouTube and our social media. We shot it ourselves in the city centre of our hometown of Kongsberg, Norway. We are excited to drop it along with the song. It’ll be available as soon as the song goes live, so stay tuned for it!”

Pre-save ‘Juicy Gossip’ here.


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