Jane Helen is a, mostly, all-female alternative, grunge, punk band from Oslo, Norway, formed in 2002. The members are Christine Ø. Litlekalsøy (vocals), Sandra C. Ekdahl (guitar), Solveig S. Vaaland (guitar, keyboard), Dordi E. Drønen (bass), and Mona Wol (drums). Thomas Golding replaced Mona Wol in 2011. Jane Helen participated in Norway’s Melodi Grand Prix in 2009 which is a competition to determine that country’s representative in the Eurovision Song Contest 2009. Their song “Shuffled” did not win.
The band cites “Iggy Pop, Throwing Muses and The Clash as their inspirations.” They say they play rock with elements of punk but that it is wrong to call them a punk band. Rock, punk, whatever. I love their sound! Jane Helen is recommended if you like The BlackSheeps, who are another mostly all-female Norwegian punk band, or Sweden’s Norma Bates, who are another punk band whose name leads you to believe they’re not a band at all. Oh, and, by the way, Christine Ø. Litlekalsøy sings entirely in English.
Jane Helen’s self-titled debut (2010) opens with two excellent tracks: “Recipe For A Perfect Night” and “Liar”. The latter’s spoken word feministic rant near the end is awesome. “Shoot them all!” she suggests of those who buy into the media’s perception of real life. If these two songs don’t grab your attention, then forget this band. But, if they do, the rest of this album will not disappoint. “Comfortable Prey”, “Beautiful” “Wakeup Call” and “Pinball Highscore” are more great tracks. “Not Yet” is one of those slow-burning ballads I love so much. The album ends with a pair of hidden tracks. The first is a brief piano interlude, while the second is a raging punk/grunge rocker. That last track hinted at where the band’s sound was headed. Their recent single, “Streptocockus”, is that grungy sound realized.
Watch the videos for “Beautiful” and “Liar” here:
2007 – huh! [EP]
2010 – Jane Helen [Album]
2012 – “Streptocockus” [Single]