Nuaia is a Swedish-Danish trio featuring guitarist Mika Forsling with vocalist Sofie Norling and percussionist Michala Østergaard Nielsen who both play in the jazz quartet David's Angels. The trio's sophomore album, after a self titled debut on Boogie Post Recordings in 2009, deepens their affinity for exploration of genre-defying, dream-state songs.
Norling is gifted with an expressive, warm voice that immediately introduces her intimate state-of-mind. She delivers concise, poetic ballads with dramatic restraint and great command. Østergaard Nielsen is one of the most underrated percussionists in Scandinavia, a highly personal musician who leads her own, excellent Østergaard Art Quartet. Here, she creates Gamelan-tinged patterns in hypnotic pulses that transform Norling's emotional pleas into secular rituals of liberation. Forsling thickens the quiet atmosphere with layers of distant, distorted guitars and live-electronics. Together, they form an eclectic sonic envelope that organically blends experimental synth-pop of the eighties, world music percussive elements and the intensity of free improvisation.
The song cycle offers a series of scenes from a fragile relationship, following the territory of David's' Angel songs. Norling, who wrote all lyrics, wonders if her dark, sober realizations of a very sensual relationship are still actual, if it can be healed or rekindle its passion. Patiently and painfully, Norling sketches her own terms and needs for an individual place. Halfway through this demanding emotional journey, on "Seasonal," she begins to exorcise her demons and fears to accommodate new independence. She still seeks peaceful resolution on "Leave It All Behind" but finds belief in herself and her calling on the closing song, the compassionate "My Role."
A beautiful and moving effort.
Belong to the Moon; Don't Know Where to Turn; Where Is Your Heart in This; There Is No
Love; Seasonal; Follow, Pt. II; Leave It All Behind (Intro); Leave It All Behind; My Role.
Sofie Norling: voice and electronics; Mika Forsling: electric guitar, synthesizers, spinet
and electronics; Michala Østergaard Nielsen: percussion; Albin Johansson: piano (6);
Jonne Bentlöv: trumpet (6).
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