When you think of Norwegian music – as I’m sure you often do – one of two bands probably spring to mind, depending on your age. A-Ha and Röyksopp are by far and away the Scandinavian nation’s greatest musical exports. That is certainly not the whole story though. The country is earning a reputation as a live music destination, and there are a number of artists such as Sigrid, Aurora, Kygo and Datarock who are gradually turning local popularity into international acclaim.

Norway has its own strong identity and culture, something that has risen to prominence of late in its hugely successful crime literature. It is also heavily influenced by what is going on in the rest of the world, Europe and especially the UK. One of the most popular podcasts in Norway, for example, is the Podkast on the English Premier League. The EPL does have a smattering of Norwegian players, as well as the current Manchester United manager, but the show covers the whole league, the teams, players and rumours. This exposure to other cultures is evident in the country’s music, which produces a Norwegian baseline with a global twist or perhaps a global baseline with a Norwegian twist.

To get a take on where a nation is musically, it is a good idea to see what music podcasts are currently being listened to and downloaded. It is often a better peek into a country’s musical soul than simply which songs are top of the charts. So, in no particular order, here is our pick of what is currently hot in Norway.

The War On Drugs
To compensate for the current lack of gigs, Philly rockers War on Drugs are set to release a live album. Norwegian rock and indie fans are lapping it up, sending the band’s Super High Quality Podcast to the top of the charts. In it, co-producer Dominic East talks about the album, why they decided to release it and how the whole project came about.

The Definitive Story of Joy Division & New Order
The stark sound of Joy Division seems perfect for the long, cold Norwegian winters, so it is no surprise this in-depth pod is such a hit, notwithstanding the fact that they were one of the most influential bands of the last generation. The podcast features exclusive interviews with the surviving band members including Peter Hook and Bernard Sumner, as well as many of their seminal tracks.

Gammal Maiden
Speaking of iconic British bands, they don’t get much more iconic, or heavier, than Iron Maiden, the topic for this podcast. Hosted by perhaps the band’s biggest fans in Scandinavia, and with guest contributors every week, this pod explores everything about The Maiden, from their music to their artwork to their fans.

On a gentler note, this charming pod is hosted by musicians Lewi Bergrud and Knut Anders Sørum. With the help of friends and industry colleagues who they have worked with for over thirty years, it explores all aspects of music, especially from the perspective of those who make it and have spent their lives making it.