Kahn used to play as Emilie And Ogden — Ogden being her harp; happily they’ve not split due to musical differences and Ogden features in opener Swimmer.
The word for that song is dreamy, but by track two you’re hoping for less dreamy and thankfully she picks up the pace, and an acoustic guitar, for Island. This is more upbeat, although her voice stays on the wistful side. (As well as the first two songs, Aquarium references water too).
A voice can make or break an album, particularly one as ethereal as this. We couldn’t quite find the love; some listeners will absolutely love it, others hate it. She benefited from a weekend lay-off, and the CD sounded better after we rested our ears, and while she can give us a warm glow, it’s still not quite love. (Fans of the autonomous sensory meridian response can leave their whispers and crinkling wrapping paper to give Kahn a whirl).
Ogden is good though, and the harp bits are angelically sweet. Other reviews compare her to various acts but she most reminds us of a band who should have done better, The Shortwave Set — less harp and more samples and electronic-based — with singer Ulrika Bjorsne not dissimilar to Kahn. The Shortwave Set called their music “Victorian funk” and while they were funkier and English — Kahn is Canadian — there’s perhaps something of the aspidistra about this, too; genteel and politely restrained.
An album for lovers of the autonomous sensory meridian response and aspidistra fans; the number one spot can only beckon. This is out via Secret City Records.
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