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Central Pensjonat is Omar's first album release on the newly started New Noise Halden Album and contains ten songs lifted from Omar's seven solo albums, plus previously unreleased "Arm in arm one Christmas night", all newly arranged in a more stripped down and warm sound produced by pianist Gøran Grini and Omar .

- These are new versions of songs that I think needed a new costume, a new and better life, explains Omar, - partly songs that did not quite come to their right on the records that they originally appeared on.

            Omar has brought with him a team of his closest fellow musicians, next to multi-instrumentalist Grini on piano, organ, percussion, mandolin, harmonium autoharpe, optigan and vibraphone, we hear Freddy Holm on banjo and steel guitar, Finn Tore Tokle on bass and accordion and Geir Sundstøl on steel guitar and banjo.

Of course, Hege Brynildsen sings a duet with Omar.

            Geir Flatøe in Stavanger Aftenblad writes the following about the song «Arm in arm one Christmas night»; «Good Christmas songs are worth their weight in gold and here we already have this year. Hege Brynildsen is on the Christmas song and thus he has secured one of the kingdom's finest voices for the duet. "

            What should we call the rock 'n' roll version of a Tordenskiolds soldier? That is, one that by rapid movements seems to be in many places at the same time. One who is simply ubiquitous.

            We can solve this question by simply calling him Omar Østli!

            The Halde guitarist / singer / songwriter who is on stages all over Eastern Norway with artists such as Onkel Tuka, Henning Kvitnes, Hege Brynildsen, Tor Brynildsen, Some Velvet Evening, Bobben Roll´s Brennevinstrio, Belfast Express, The Salmon Smokers, Iain Matthews, Luke Elliot, Åse Kleveland and Paal Flaata.

            Despite the fact that he generously lends his formidable talent as a guitarist to other artists and bands, Omar still has time left over to record his own records.

Some of them have even had enough buoyancy to materialize as vinyl records. 

The first solo album came in 2007 and bore the title Nobody's Man, which is proven not to apply to Omar himself.

            Certainly to Omar's own big surprise, he got two radio hits from the album, "Wild Roads" and just "Nobody's Man". Songs that can still be heard on NRK, when it occurs to them to play music that reflects life in Østfold.

            Four years later came the sequel, which emphasized Omar's loyalty to his hometown, 1750 Halden. Another four years later, in 2015, White Nights appeared. Then they have come like pearls on a string; 1752 Halden (2016), Oppover (2016), 10 songs (2017) and Klart Skip (2019).

            Occasionally he has also put together an album with one of his youth bands, Yesterday´s Rain, Message to your Heart (1986-1996). Where he played with bassist Lars Ivar Borg (Uncle Tuka), guitarist Markus Linge (Pärs Polare) and drummer Chris Nilsen (Front Page), who passed away in 2018.

            In 2017, NRK project manager and author Sigmund Falch published the book Too Many Thumbs, with the subtitle A critical analysis of well-known Norwegian lyrics.

There, Falch consistently covered radio-played and celebrated songs with some of the country's most successful artists, including Halvdan Sivertsen, Kaizers Orchestra, Jan Eggum, Sigvart Dagsland, Bjørn Eidsvåg, Tre små Kinesere and Vamp.

            Let's put it this way, Too many thumbs were hardly under the Christmas tree in many of these artists' homes at Christmas that year. Falch is reasonably ruthless (and humorous) in his deadly review of the lyrics to songs such as "Ten Thousand Thumbs Up", "Ompa Till You Die" and Dørstokkmila ".

But he also finds room to point out an example of someone who makes it happen.

Falch writes about Omar's song "Borghild" from the album 10 Songs.

« (The text) is exemplary plain and neat. Aunt Borghild is very credible. This is an aunt you recognize. She is out there in large numbers ».

            He reproduces the text in its entirety and concludes with the following; "There are many who have a lot to learn from Omar Østli. Had to playful and feverish copywriters out there take a look at this treat of a text, and take it a little calmer the next time they grab the pen. Shrug your shoulders, and do not overthink it all. "

            We suggest the same. Sit back and listen to Omar's stories and wisdom. It may even threaten you that there is hope at the end of the tunnel. It is no coincidence that Central Pensjonat comes in a limited edition of green vinyl, which even lets the light through.

The album was recorded in the winter and spring of 2020 in Nordsiden Studio (Studiobyen Halden, folks!)

Freddy & Tom

New Noise Halden Album

September 2020

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