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Serena Maneesh (sometimes spelled Serena-Maneesh or shortened to S-M) is an alternative rockband from Oslomarker, Norwaymarker.

In an interview with Village Indian, Emil Nikolaisen, the songwriter of the band, explains the rather mysterious word-constellation the following way:

’Serena’ is an adaptation of the Norwegian word for veil...The name came out from this veil you can see, you can see the melody through a stressful storm of noise. That’s what I love about music – you can work with this veil. There is so much stress in the world, you know? Serena could also mean serenity, serene. There are all these connotations. Then you see glints -- you see something incredible, but it’s in the moment. It’s through this veil. ‘Maneesh’ is a rewriting of the Norwegian word manesje, which is the area around a stage. Sirkus Merano, remember that? We later found out it was also the Hindu Lord of the Mind. But it is more a picture…if you look at a stage in a circus or opera, there’s an area surrounding the stage containing a lot of elements. Small, subtle elements that make the stage presence that much more powerful. That’s incredible. If you take that to the sound world…The whole thing is talking about the sound elements...For that reason, it's perfect. If ever two words conjured the elemental nature of this band’s sound, they are Serena-Maneesh.


The team of musicians who each contribute to the band's sound is organized around its main protagonist and songwriter Emil Nikolaisen. Emil has previously appeared as a guitarist and songwriter in the indie band Royal, played the drums in Norwegian punk rock band Silver as well as in the retro-pop orchestra The Loch Ness Mouse. He even has a past as guitarist in the metal band Extol.

Important sources of musical inspiration are amongst others Velvet Underground, My Bloody Valentine, Amon Düül, The Stooges, Swans, Spacemen 3, Spiritualized, Stereolab, Royal Trux, Neu!, and Antonio Carlos Jobim. As these names indicate, Serena Maneesh is a band built upon a love of musical tensions. Intense noise and pulsating rhythms often reveal hidden harmonies and melodies, while crooked and distorted blues-riffs are replaced by psychedelic strings and vague vibes, flutes and organs. The structure of the songs is often unorthodox. The vocals of Serena Maneesh serve as an instrument, yet the merely decipherable words reflect the tensions existing in the music itself: the struggle within a soul simultaneously threatened to be choked by darkness, despair and superficiality, yet searching for light, hope and spiritual depth.

In late 2005, the band toured Europe in support of The Dandy Warhols. In early 2006, Serena Maneesh landed the opening gig for British band Oasis during its UKmarker tour. They supported Nine Inch Nails on the Australia/Japanmarker leg of their 2007 world tour. [246621]

The highly acclaimed self-titled debut album was released on the Norwegian record-label HoneyMilk in the autumn of 2005. In December of the same year, the Norwegian vinyl label Hype City released an LP print featuring two exclusive tracks, and the Spanish indie distributor Touchme Records published the CD. In March 2006, the band announced its transfer to the Playlouder-branch of the Beggars-group established in Europe (UKmarker, Germanymarker & Italymarker), North America (United Statesmarker & Canadamarker) and Oceania (Australia). In June 2006, the band released an international edition of its self-titled album (both CD & LP) through the international label Playlouder.

The long awaited second album is set to be released in March 2010 on the renowned british indie-label 4AD.

Band members

Current members:

Previous or associated members:





  • Drain Cosmetics - ECD (12 June 2006) United Kingdom Playlouder Recordings PLAYR7CD
  • Drain Cosmetics - 7"SP (12 June 2006) United Kingdom Playlouder Recordings PLAYR7S
  • Drain Cosmetics - 12"SP (23 May 2005) United States Playlouder Recordings PLAYR7T


  • Serena Maneesh / Blood On The Wall - 7" (February 2006) United States Insound
Sapphire Eyes (Serena-Maneesh Refix) 3:12
Drive Me Home The Lonely Nights 3:13


Drive Me Home The Lonely Nights 3:13
Leipziger Love Life 8:02
  • Ŏya Festivalen: Oslo 08-10 Aug 2002 - CD (1 May 2002) Norway Øya Festival
Blues Like Beehive 3:23

Digital Singles

  • Drain Cosmetics - MP3/WMA/AAC (12 February 2006) United Kingdom Playlouder
Drain Cosmetics promo video (Podcast) 3:16

Serena-Maneesh LP promo

Fixxations EP promo

Media links

Serena Maneesh LP

Drain Cosmetics SP

Fixxations EP

External links

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