Single Review – Susanne Sundfør – Mountaineers feat. John Grant

Second single from soon to be released new album ‘Music For People In Trouble’ ‘Mountaineers’ see’s Norwegian singer-songwriter Susanne Sundfør team up with, the always intriguing, John Grant to produce a track that feels closer to a cloistral hymn than alt-pop. If your idea of calm involves the throaty sound of distant monks gathered around an ancient shrine, during the foggy hours of a cold morning, ‘Mountaineers’ is perfect for you. With the feel of one of those ten minute YouTube audio videos meant to relax your mind with the constant hum of Tibetan singing bowls, John Grant’s drifting vocal opens the single with an eerie atmosphere of rumbled, over-tone style chanting.Though medieval Gregorian chant isn’t the only style being included here. Things gradually transform as Sundfør’s crystal clear vocal breaks over the track, after 2 minutes and 14 seconds. Flitting between bluesy vocal and a clarity that feels almost anime like. At around the 3-minute mark things even begin humming with the sound of an 80’s power ballad, a little Jennifer Rush mixed with Kate Bush, as organ chords ring out, rising towards that unseen mountain top, before things fracture slightly into a more chaotic crescendo and Sundfør brings her expedition to its gentle close. 

Hayley Miller

This Weeks Music Video with The Weeknd feat. Daft Punk, Solange, Röyksopp feat. Susanne Sundfør, Chromatics and Tacocat

Single Review – Röyksopp – Running To The Sea

Röyksopp are a Norwegian electronic duo from Tromso who formed back in 1998. They include Svein Berge and Torbjørn Brundtland who met each other when they were twelve and thirteen. Their first new single since 2011 is Running To The Sea; which has produced their first number one single in Norway in spite of their previous four albums reaching the top spot there. The track features wonderful wistful vocals from Norwegian vocalist Susanne Sundfør. The song is very much formed around her vocals and she is more than capable of gently leading the songs progression. She is first accompanied by a piano. Then the dance like beat and the synths are layered underneath her voice. Her vocals are really manipulated well but also in a subtle fashion. The echo begins right at the end of each line is gently floats away amongst the electronic sounds. It’s a good clash of natural and unnatural sounds that works pretty well. Having said that; it is a pretty generalised sound no matter how effectively they’ve arranged and produced it. I suppose it will get a fair bit of attention from around the continent but it isn’t particularly innovative and they have been capable of better. However it is still skilfully recorded and produced and if they were aiming for a hit, then they’ve got it. Why haven’t they had a go at Eurovision yet? They would win for sure.

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