"Mara sang highs and lows, she shouted, walked around, cried out loud and laughed manically. Carried by the sometimes heavily brawling, sometimes peacefully, almost silently playing band, she definitely took away the main role in this play. Vocally, I might describe her as a female version of Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant at times, strange as it might seem, with the stage expression of Jim Morrison. This doesn’t mean that the band was merely a provider of ‘background sounds’. On the contrary: we heard great, atonal and immersive guitar solos that could have been Guthrie Govan’s, jazzy Dixie Dregs-ish bass riffs, mellotron- and other keyboard sounds by a girl who also played accordion and the impressive and complex rhythms of two drummers, bringing much more than just their drum kits into the whole (cajons, brushes and bells for instance)."
Nicolas Dewulf, UTROPIA
From a consert at Bastard Bar August 2013
"On the smallest stage in Bukta I got Friday evening's most compelling experience. It was Kate Bush, Björk, Tom Waits and such mysterious, almost a little creepy guitar riff - all at once! Mara & The Inner Strangeness, You've got to be kidding. Dramatic and elegant in a tailored bright red dress with big black buttons and a voice that sticks into the rooms in your head, the front woman is there. This is performance art and avant garde, so much more than the music - which in itself is enough. "
Elisabeth C.K Reitan, Festivalmagasinet
"You know the kind of concert that is completely different, when sitting or dancing in the audience and know that you are part of something special? A concert that make you feel happy, disturbed and inspired? A concert you will be proud to have seen and heard? You know such a concert where you are in love with the singer, again and again?
- sitat: Anethe Alfsvåg
TromsøRock: 50 år med Vinyl at Rådstua Teaterhus/RADVENT 2013
«First came a bit of agreeably eccentric jazz rock from Norway's Mara and the Inner Strangeness, upstairs in Attic. Mara herself was a striking presence, what with half her face painted black, and among the Inner Strangeness were two drummers and a saxophonist.
What they delivered was jazz with a heavy metal backbeat, and enough of a keyboard-backed saxophone skronk to channel early Roxy Music.
When the crowd wouldn't move closer, Mara moved to them, staring out crowd members in between her dancing, sometimes flowing, sometimes like a broken robot. What with the facepaint, the dance and her voice weaving from wails to Bjork vocalizing».
Sean Bradbury, GETINTOTHIS, From Liverpool SoundCity 2013
MARA & THE INNER STRANGENESS
Some say it's art rock and some say it is jazz rock. But one thing is for sure, it's a mix of all this and more. With influences from different genres and art forms, Mara & Co are one of the most distinctive and challenging bands in Tromsø band jungle.
Dynamic and large-span, experimental and ahead. Mara & The Inner Strangeness has an own presence on stage, often with performative and visual elements.
The group has already played concerts in Norway, Sicily, Russia and the UK. Next goal is Nordland County, planning Eastern Europe, Asia and Canada.
The group has its base in Tromso, and autumn 2011 the band recorded their first full length album "RED SOUNDS WHISPER" in OCEAN SOUND RECORDING together with engineer Henning Svoren. (Arcade Fire, Ola Kvernberg, Farmers Market, Mark Olson). The record was mixed by Henning Svoren and Marita Isobel Solberg and mastered by Svein Erik Åmås.
The album was released july 2012.
"Expression-wise is M & TIS something as rare as a unique band, and undoubtedly one of the most exciting and challenging orchestras in the local sphere. The experimental tones do not fit into either the pop or jazz stall, but as an idea, I mention that artists like Portishead, Tom Waits and Calexico are lurking in the dark scenes. "
"Uttrykksmessig er M&TIS noe så sjeldent som et unikt band, og utvilsomt et av de mest spennende og utfordrende orkestrene i lokalsfæren. De eksperimentelle tonene passer ikke inn i verken pop- eller jazzbåsen, men som en pekepinn nevner jeg at artister som Portishead, Tom Waits og Calexico spøker i de mørke kulissene.
Helge Skog, Nordlys
Another object in my mailbox (I'm lucky with letters and women-that's just how it is). Red Sounds Whisper annex a musical gray area somewhere between Kate Bush and Amon Duul II. Distinct female vocals and a sound that switches between reclining comfort and nervous unrest, but consistent with a threatening undertone that is all different aspects of the same nightmare, no matter how much you try to disguise it as relaxed easy listening. The songs are no less complex, some of them make me think of Belgian synthpop anno 1981, others give the impression of leaping from the type of smoking hippies could get them to perform 40 years ago. It is not easy pop music.
Tommy Olsson, Morgenbladet
The band is a sensation"
Per Kristian Olsen, Forfatter and Journalist in NRK
"I have great faith in the performance artist and musician Marita Isobel Solberg. She creates so clearly her own peculiar and strange universe where she mixes fresh popcultural references with Sami myths and Japanese comics. It is dark, suggesive, feminine and beautiful - on a high artistic level.I'm really looking forward to hearing more from her and also her band projects,
"Mara and the inner strangeness" and "The Tom Waitresses."
Nina Wester, incoming HT-sjef says to Nordlys:
Hope to see you around!!
Mara & The Inner Strangeness
STRANGE MARA RECORDS