David's Angels: What It Seems (2013)
The melancholic waltz "When It Starts" features Norling's raw, emotional vocals, echoing passionately against Olin's deeply anguished, electronic wails as bass and drum time the forlorn dance. Guest guitarist Torben Waldorff's heady vamps enhance Norling's mesmerizing poetry.
Olin's "Magica" crackles with intimate soulfulness, as her blues-drenched Rhodes embellishes the melody. A more art-rock atmosphere permeates the second half of the piece as Norling's ethereal voice soars over Carlsson's thunderous bass and drummer Michala Østergaard-Nielsen's angular and propulsive percussion. A gospel-informed spirituality dominates Norling's unaccompanied and evocative singing on "Go," and a wistful, folkloric ambiance characterizes "Visions." Østergaard-Nielsen's edgy, hypnotic polyrhythms drive Olin and Carlsson's psychedelic duet.
The solemn ballad "Risking Hearts" opens with Olin's dramatic sonata. Norling's sensual and fragile voice floats like a prayer over chiming piano notes. The latter piece's mellifluous, undulating wistfulness contrasts nicely with the funky, assertive swagger of "Rid of You." Norling punctuates her resilient and agile interpretation of the acerbic with assertive, visceral grunts and sighs. The exhilarating roar of Østergaard-Nielsen's drums and Carlsson's atonal bass lines express the tune's primal emotions.
Another Olin original, "Differences (Rising, Standing Up, Making)," closes this singularly and uniformly intriguing disc on a beautifully contemplative note. The careful balance and seamless blend of cool sophistication and intense, ardent fervor makes for a stirring and captivating listen. The thrilling experience remains fresh even after repeated spins.
Track Listing: What It Seems; Rid Of You; Differences (Too Fast, Meaning, Learning); When It Starts; Magica; Go; Risking Hearts; Sailors; Visions; Differences (Rising, Standing Up, Making).
Personnel: Sofie Norling: vocals; Maggi Olin: Rhodes, piano; David Carlsson: bass, additional drums (2); Michala Østergaard-Nielsen: drums, percussion; Torben Waldorff: guitar, melodica (4).
Record Label: Kopasetic Productions
Style: Beyond Jazz