Magnet equals one Even Johansen of Bergen, Norway, an alluring young troubadour whose gift has made him the premier endeavor of Filter US Recordings.
His music simultaneously follows in the footsteps of traditional folkdom and modern surrealism, treading a neat path between the two. Johansen draws upon a vast array of influences, from the dusty warmth of Gram Parsons to the ethereal electronica of Air, tenderly etching out the mark that is his own unique sound. NME has likened Magnet to artists Tim Buckley and Coldplay, and others have placed him in the ranks of such names as Johnny Cash, Elliott Smith, Beck, and the Doves. Indeed, these comparisons have not been made in vain.
Even’s first forays into musicianship began at an early age. He grew up in the wake of an old four-string guitar owned by his father, a musician who toured the world in a Norwegian Jazz/Swing dance troupe. Later, in Scotland, his love for the lap steel materialized, quickly prompting his ascent into the world of Rock ‘N’ Roll. Even has always had an a fixation on Clint Eastwood and he admits, “That’s when I became a cowboy – I saw this beautiful guitar in the window of a shop in Dumfries and I had to have it.” And have it he did. In fact, it is this guitar sound that brings life to Even’s unique brand of storytelling. Magnet makes highly emotive music, rich with experience and realism, compacted into personal, electrifying, intensely beautiful songs that you will cherish. Songs that will make the hairs on your neck stand on end, songs that you will fall in love with, songs that lift you out of normality and cradle you in cushioned dreams and so much more.
Giving credence to the old expression ‘scarred by experience,’ Even took the name Magnet after an incident in his early teens. Anemic at the age of 13, he visited his father’s outlandish “Rock ‘N’ Roll” doctor while on holiday. “He was wearing a white lab coat, but I think he may have been a drug dealer,” recalls the singer. Said doctor sent a young Johansen to a half-Chinese, half-Indian medicine man, who gave him a tattoo of a magnet, colored with “special” ink. After passing out from the pain, Even awoke to find that he was miraculously cured: “I was stupid enough to believe it, but believing can work wonders. To this day, I have not suffered [from anemia] once. I am a magnet.”
Just across an ocean, Johansen is constantly receiving rave reviews, the results of several captivating and intelligent European releases, as well as a series of highly successful headlining and supporting tours throughout the Continent (sharing the stage with such acts as the Doves, South, the Bees, Kings of Convenience, Royksopp, and Zero 7). Magnet’s highly acclaimed On Your Side received a nomination for “best new alternative album” at 2003’s Alarm Awards in Norway (equivalent to the Grammys in the U.S.). The same year NME named Magnet an act to shine in years to come.