Jazzland is proud to present the classic debut album from one of Norway's most exquisite singer-songwriters, Unni Wilhelmsen. This, her 1996 debut album was a winner of a Norwegian Grammy for Best Album and was produced by Jazzland's own Bugge Wesseltoft.
Unni describes the process of making the album:
I never dreamt of releasing a record. My relationship with music was a private one. I wrote stuff, but I never played in a band. I didn't make demos for record companies or attend talent competitions. In fact, I started playing the guitar a year and a half before these recordings were made. The lyrics are reflections, experiences, people and memories that I needed to take a closer look at or just didn't want to forget. So I tried to put them in a beautiful private place. Like in a musical diary. I chose Bugge Wesseltoft to be my producer. Together with my hand picked band, we made an album I'm still proud of. We recorded in the basement of Bugge's home and in a micro studio (in a chocolate factory in Oslo) called Bugge's Room, which couldn't fit both me and a drum kit at the same time. I had to wait in the hall during drum sessions. The Vertavo String Quartet and my old friend and fellow dish washer from Rikshospitalet's main kitchen, Thor Arne Sæterholen, are guest starring. The songs came out varied, the production energetic, - the band opens it up. I couldn't have hoped for a better debut. My very first single, Won't Go Near You Again, was the song that made Ole (I'dole) Evenrud offer me a record contract. I played the song to him in his office. He made the offer on the spot. I had low expectations and a curious mind sneaking into this business as the album title indicates. But the audience embraced both the single and the album. Paal Flaata (Midnight Choir) sings gorgeously on the second single, This Means You To Me Now, which still stands. After signing the deal we went recording the album, and the next thing I knew I was performing live on National TV. I had scarcely played live before. All at once I was on top of things and the real learning process had begun. To Whom It May Concern achieved two Norwegian Grammy Awards: Female Artist of the Year and Album of the Year 1996 and achieved the Golden Record of Sales.
The album still stands up today, and the single "Won't Go Near You Again" has been one of those unusual singles that catches a second wind: it re-entered the charts in 2006, 10 years after it's initial release! Proof that you can't keep a good song down! Highly recommended for when you need a break from all the free jazz you've been listening to!