Some artists have just an amazing voice, some just have a knack for songwriting and playing, but some have all of them plus the technical know-how to mix this all up with electronic elements, Norwegian artist Susanne Sundfør is just that. Her talents and amazing voice have given her the chance to work with artists like M83(Oblivion Soundtrack) and Royksopp as well as playing frequently on tv in Norway. Her music mixes a piano led symphonic sound with electronic elements, making her music very different from somewhat similar artists like Adele or Duffy, her songs have a more heavy and epic feel and her amazing voice makes it all the more brilliant.
Her third album, The Silicone Veil, is a dark (both musically and lyrically), piano and synth driven album, that has a distinct film score/soundtrack feel throughout most of the album. The whole album sounds like the soundtrack to a futuristic sci-fi epic, the silicone veil even sounds like a spy novel. DISCLAIMER: this album should be listened to through headphones, not earbuds or laptop speakers, the bass and some other parts just don’t have the same texture on these and some parts are lost without a decent set of headphones.
The album opens on “Diamonds” a cool song that jumps from an eerie vocal track to a dense electronic song that sounds like it could score the opening to a spy movie, it also contains the first examples of Susanne’s wails and string arrangements. “White Foxes” starts on an ominous piano lick that fades into the bass drum and heavy bass wash that fills the song. It bursts to life when it reaches the dreamy arpeggieated synth prechorus and then even dreamier chorus all covered with amazing vocals and some sound backtracks that make it even more intense. “Rome” goes from an echo-y soundscape, with a Jurassic Park-esque bass drum, to a bass and synth driven song with powerful vocals, its weird synth licks and string parts make it even more impressive. “Can You Feel The Thunder” is more traditional, being piano and vocal driven, but using it’s interesting piano parts and strings to make it fuller and subtle keyboard parts to accent its ending.
“Among Us” starts on its animal like bass growl, moving with syncopated rhythms, vocal harmonies and a bouncing bassline. The chorus emphasizes all of this with heavier synth bass and exploding vocals, it also has a very cool sounding phrygian string bridge. The violin and vocally lead “The Silicone Veil” moves with beautiful melodies before electronic bass and drums kick it into gear, with textured arpeggiated choruses near the end. The last minute of the song is a multi-layered instrument heaven with a key change that makes it even more epic, and its vocal and violin dips are reminiscent of “The Immigrant Song.” “Stop (Don’t Push The Button)” moves between a string heavy intro that slowly fades into an electronic was of synth parts and lands on the anthem like vocals of its verse, that slips between the traditional and its synth lick. “Your Prelude” is an electronic heavy song that plays with baroque melodies, some clever panning and a beautiful piano solo that fills the middle of the song beautifully before roaring back in with a powerful synth riff that carry it to its heavy ending.
Tomorrow I’ll post some of Susanne’s work in her native tongue that make Norwegian sound beautiful.