the opium cartel news

The Opium Cartel's 2nd album is out! Check the discography for the tracklisting and the lineup.

order your t-shirt today

In collaboration with Termo Records' regular design team Trine&Kim, we have come up with a simple, elegant t-shirt design based on the cover of "Ardor". This can be yours!

The Opium Cartel T-Shirt

Just send us a message and tell us your size and address, and we'll provide payment details. Prices (including shipping!) are US: 30$, EU: 25€, UK: 20£ and Scandinavia: 150 kr. For other countries/currencies - just ask! Sizes are s, m, l and xl - while supplies last!

the first single

Today The Opium Cartel is releasing our first single: A remix/edit of "When We Dream", from the forthcoming album "Ardor". In other words, this is a different version from the one that will be on the album. Do check it out! It features both Alexander Stenerud and Venke Knutson on vocals. Click here to go to iTunes and listen!

exclusive taster from "ardor"

We're giving you a little glimpse of the album's only cover song. Not really a very representative song for the rest of the album, but we're so excited to have covered this gorgeous tune - one of the finest rock ballads ever written - that we just can't wait any longer. Venke Knutson sings this.

pre-order ardor now

You can pre-order Ardor from Termo Records here. There will be more news about the release shortly, including merchandise and a vinyl version. Watch this space.

The album takes inspiration from the artsier side of 80's pop, like The Blue Nile, Japan, Thomas Dolby, Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush, as well as contemporary electronica and progressive rock. "I wanted to pay tribute to some of the music I heard and loved on the radio in the 80's", says Holm-Lupo. Synthesizers like the Prophet 5, Oberheim OB8, the Fairlight and the PPG Wave are all featured on the recording, and the production is characterized by a warm, dynamic sound.

who is the opium cartel?

The Opium Cartel is a vehicle for the pop leanings of guitarist/songwriter/producer Jacob Holm-Lupo, best known as the leader of Norway's premier art-rock band White Willow. Working in close collaboration with drummer/producer/keyboardist Mattias Olsson, known from Änglagård and Pineforest Crunch as well as White Willow, the project also utilizes a variety of vocal and instrumental talents in somewhat of a revolving door policy.

The first album, the highly acclaimed "Night Blooms" from 2009, featured the vocal talents of Rachel Haden (That Dog, Todd Rundgren, Weezer, Jimmy Eat World), Tim Bowness (No-Man, Henry Fool), Stephen Bennett (Henry Fool, No-Man) and Rhys Marsh, as well as instrumentalists from bands like White Willow, Jaga Jazzist and Wobbler.

On the forthcoming album, to be released in late Fall 2013, Jacob has again drawn around him a group of amazing singers, including one of Norway's foremost pop singers, Venke Knutson, who has scored several top 10 hits, including no. 1s, and Alexander Stenerud, a singer many consider to be A-Ha singer Morten Harket's true heir to the pop throne in Norway. Tim Bowness, Stephen Bennett and Rhys Marsh also return as singers on this new album.

Influences on The Opium Cartel's music include 80's art pop such as Japan, Roxy Music, Prefab Sprout and The Blue Nile, as well as 70's folk-rock like Sandy Denny and Nick Drake. Reviewers have variously referred to the music as dream-pop, folktronica and art-pop.

the opium cartel discography

2013, Termo Records
The Opium Cartel: Ardor

1. Kissing Moon
2. When We Dream
3. Silence Instead
4. Northern Rains
5. Revenant
6. White Wolf
7. The Waiting Ground
8. Then Came the Last Days of May
9. Mariner, Come In

Stephen James Bennett: synths, vocals
Tim Bowness: vocals
Ketil Vestrum Einarsen: flutes
Lars Fredrik Frøislie: synths
Jacob Holm-Lupo: guitars, bass guitars, synths
Venke Knutson: vocals
Harald Lasse: saxophone
Rhys Marsh: vocals
Mattias Olsson: drums, percussion, effects, synths
Alexander Stenerud: vocals
Ellen Andrea Wang: acoustic bass
Tales From The Edge
2012, Mellow Records
Tales From The Edge

A Yes tribute album.
The Opium Cartel appears with a cover of "Clear Days".
Lizard Sleep EP
2009, OpiumDigital
The Opium Cartel: Lizard Sleep EP

1. Beach House (Mike Senior remix)
2. July 1983
3. Lumberjack's Lullaby

Same line-up as Night Blooms, but also including Scott McGill on electric guitar.

Night Blooms
2009, Termo Records
The Opium Cartel: Night Blooms

1. Heavenman (5.33)
2. Better Days Ahead (5.07)
3. Skinnydip (4.42)
4. By This River (3.18)
5. Three Sleepers (5.36)
6. Honeybee (3.34)
7. Beach House (8.13)
8. Flicker Girl (6.22)
9. The Last Rose of Summer (5.14)

Jacob Holm-Lupo - guitars, keyboards, bass guitar, some vocals
Mattias Olsson - drums, mellotrons, guitars, moogerfoogers, stuff
Lars Fredrik Frøislie - synth, mellotrons, stuff
Rachel Haden - vocals
Rhys Marsh - vocals
Tim Bowness - vocals
Stephen Bennett - vocals
Sylvia Skjellestad - vocals
Sigrun Eng - cello
Ketil Einarsen - woodwinds
Ellen Andrea Wang - bass guitar
Erik Johannesen - trombone

email the opium cartel

We're always available for you to get in touch with us. Just fill out the form below and we'll get back to you as soon as we can. Thanks!

What is your Name?

What is your Email?

What do you want to say to The Opium Cartel?

email the opium cartel

You must enable referrer logging to use the form
You cannot send a blank form