We’ve played this over and over and can’t get a handle on it. It’s her voice, which seems to suck out any excitement. Harsh, very harsh, we know, but it has to be said. The sign of where it fails comes on The Sign, a cheery indie pop tune with nice drums; if the singer had been Dag för Dag’s Jacob Snavely we’d have loved it but it just does nothing.
Musically she does that Norwegian minimalist pop thing that, er Norwegians do well, and she writes a good tune, there’s no doubt about it. Like Dag för Dag or Choir Of Young Believers she reduces songs to (relatively) sparse arrangements and vocals.
We love that sort of music and expected to like this but it was not to be. Opener W.O.Y. has atmospheric synth/strings and marching bass drum; Cheery Trees could be lovely, with eerie synth (a sound like wine glasses being played) and then a Celtic-influenced tune; The Sign is a jaunty pop tune and Misery has a catchy hook, but it all just failed to spark.
There’s not a classic song in sight — no Hollow Talk (Choir of YB’s, the theme from The Bridge) or Boxed Up In Pine / Silence As The Verb (Dag för Dag) in sight.
Vocals can make or break whether you like a band, and she leaves us cold — though you might love it. ‘Orses for courses and all that. Try The Sign.