In his home country of Norway, Thomas Dybdahl is already a star. The singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has released five well-received albums there over the past decade.
Now, he's making his U.S. debut with Songs, a sort of compilation of the best of his Norwegian hits. One thing that's making the transition easy: His songs are all in English.
"I've done some Norwegian singing. But having grown up with English pop and rock music, it's almost more natural to sing and make music in English," Dybdahl says. "A lot of it has to do with English as an instrument — the way the language sounds, the way that you're used to playing it."
Songs includes a track called "One Day You'll Dance for Me, New York City," the title cut from Dybdahl's third album. Dybdahl actually lived in New York briefly in his early 20s.
"It's the biggest cliché of them all," he says with a laugh. "I went there because I wanted New York to dazzle me and eat me up alive and consume me. I wanted to feel that and make music out of it."
Dybdahl says he no longer wants to live in New York, but that every time he visits, he still feels the thrill of anticipation on his way there.
"There's a bit of beauty in that longing," he says, "that might be even better than the real thing."