Saturday, April 5, 2008

The New Weird...Scandinavia

Silje Nes - New Weird Nordic, New Weird Scandinavian

Silje Nes is a Norwegian singer/composer (now based in Berlin) who makes some lovely, textured new-folk music.

Her arrangements on Ames Room (her debut on FatCat Records), veering from sparse electro-acoustic delicacy to more rhythmically dense territory, are evocative in a way akin to fellow Nordic experimentalists like múm or Sigur Rós, and her nymph-like whispers fit so wonderfully into the mix.

Not to get overly referential, but the record really does coalesce so many familiar elements into something refreshingly distinctive. The loop-centric compositions recall Juana Molina; she shares an almost naïve, slightly twee, amateurish-in-a-good-way sonic playfulness with the K Records stable (Mirah, Microphones, etc.); and her range of child-like melodies and sophisticated timbral textures and juxtapositions brings to mind another recent favorite, the Japanese duo Tenniscoats (!!!). Oh yeah, let me throw the whole Fonal roster (from Norway's neighbor, Finland) and their legitimate 'freak-folk' in there too, for good measure (Islaja, particularly). Heck, there are even hints of Boards of Canada in the ambient electronic elements and melodic whimsy.

Let's call it New Weird Scandinavia.

Listen HERE.

Consider purchasing HERE or at your local independent physical music purveyor.

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