Treefort 2023 Profile: Norway’s Orions Belte

Orions Belte will play Boise’s Treefort Music Fest later this month in support of one of the more fascinating music releases in recent memory. In November, they put out a box set under the name of Orions Belte — and yet it contains no music by the indie-rock band, technically.

Rather, the package contains three solo albums by members of the Norway group: drummer/percussionist Kim Åge Furuhaug, bassist/vocalist/keyboardist Chris Holm and guitarist/pedal steel player Øyvind Blomstrøm. Equally unusual is the band’s billing. Orions Belte call themselves an “instrumental” group — even though their music actually features vocals. (In other words, Orions Belte use vocals as an additional instrument to their sound.)

The Bad Penny recently caught up with Orions Belte to get a better sense of the idiosyncratic band and what they’re most looking forward to when they visit Idaho for the first time.

[Go here for a primer on this series of Treefort Music Fest previews. Check back for new profiles of international artists playing the festival every day leading up to the festival’s kick-off on Wednesday, March 22.]

Artist: Orions Belte
From: Oslo, Norway
Genre: easygoing indie rock
Treefort info: Playing Wednesday, March 22, at Bandshell at 9:10 p.m.

Why did you decide to play Treefort Fest this year?

ORIONS BELTE: It is a part of our U.S. tour in March, so it fitted perfectly with the rest of the tour.

What excites you the most about participating in it?

ORIONS BELTE: I’ve heard so many great things about the festival, and the lineup is absolutely amazing. We’re just sorry we have to leave the next day and not stay for the whole festival.

Is this your first time playing Treefort? If so, how did your booking come about? If not, why did you choose to return?

ORIONS BELTE: First time! The festival reached out to our agency and we were super ready to do it right away.

Have you visited Boise/Idaho before? If yes, do you have any fun stories to share? If not, what have you heard about Boise/Idaho?

ORIONS BELTE: First time in Idaho, really excited! Don’t really know much about this part of the States, as I’ve only been to other parts of the country.

Did you face any challenges or headaches in securing a visa to come here?

ORIONS BELTE: It is always a bit of a headache in the midst of the process, but we started real early with our applications, so luckily everything is in order now.

What expectations do you have for your experience here and at Treefort?

ORIONS BELTE: We’re looking forward to playing for a new crowd and meet a lot of new people.

How would you describe your state of mind going into Treefort?

ORIONS BELTE: It is towards the end of our tour, so we’ll probably be super into our set. Should be great!

What other artists on the Treefort lineup are you excited to see? Are you friends with any of them?

ORIONS BELTE: I’m not sure we have the time to catch any other acts, but I would love to see Rogê (love the new singles), Margo Price (love her latest album), Whitney, Hermanos Gutierrez, Charlotte Adigéry (Topical Dancer is a banging record) and Delicate Steve. Big fan of him.

[Editor’s note: Charlotte Adigéry dropped off the Treefort bill after this feature was published.]

What do you enjoy most about performing at music festivals in general?

ORIONS BELTE: The vibe. It’s really different from playing clubs where you have the whole place to yourself until the doors open, so it will be a nice break from the rest of the tour.

What can Treefort attendees expect from your performance?

ORIONS BELTE: We are an instrumental band from Norway. Most people seem to enjoy our live shows as it’s fun, we’re tight as a unit, we’re constantly exploring new territories of our music and want to have a good time together with the audience.

For more Treefort previews, check out:

• Treefort 2023 Profile: British Columbia’s Mother Sun

• Treefort 2023 Profile: Chile’s Sistemas Inestables

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