Taking their name from Marty McFly's mother in the Back to the Future movies, Lorraine are a trio from Bergen, Norway, who describe their music as a combination of the past and the future. In practice, that roughly translates to sounding like music that was forward-looking 20 years earlier, though possibly with a more melodramatic bent; in other words, they were right in step with the stylish, '80s-influenced electronic-edged rock that was very much the sound of the present when they started making waves in the mid-2000s. Their list of influences (New Order, Depeche Mode, the Smiths, the Stone Roses) is a yawningly typical slate of reference points for a 2000s-era indie synth rock band, but Lorraine wear them well. The laughably archetypal story of their formation, though, is somewhat less hip: vocalist Ole Gunnar Gundersen and guitarist Anders Winsents met in the late '90s when, having both cut school on the same afternoon, they found themselves sitting back to back in the same guitar shop, playing "Stairway to Heaven" at the same time. After a brief stint in an electro-metal group inspired by the Prodigy, the garrulous Gundersen and withdrawn Winsents (a onetime Scandinavian silver medalist in speed walking) encountered keyboardist Paal Myran Haaland drunkenly shouting at a bus stop.
The threesome — then in their late teens — began recording in Haaland's bedroom, and soon moved their operations to an abandoned factory 45 minutes outside of town, dropping out of high school to take up residence there for a year, experimenting with styles and developing their chops. They recorded their debut single for local indie Rec90 in 2003, with the epic electro-rock stylings of the Perfect Cure full-length following a year later. Over the next several years Lorraine shifted their musical focus to New Order/Pet Shop Boys-styled synth pop with a series of well-received singles that appeared on Waterfall Records in Norway and first on indie Genepool, then on Columbia, in the U.K, including "I Feel It" (a Top 30 hit in both countries), the Psychedelic Furs cover "Heaven," and "Transatlantic Flight." In 2007 they left Columbia and signed with RCA, releasing "Saved" (a reworking of an earlier B-side) in December of that year. ~ K. Ross Hoffman