Norwegian singer/songwriter Susanne Sundfor pulls out all the stops
with her new album 'The Silicone Veil'. Epic songs for a truly epic
voice. This young woman has a fine set of pipes with the kind of upper
register which makes the blood course faster through our veins and sweat
break out on our brows. These ten tracks have a haunting pulsating presence;
their mesmerising melodic inventions and densely brooding beats framing
vocal performances of quite extraordinary intensity. With nods here and
there to seventies prog-rock and a curiously folksy undertow these songs
have an almost organic quality which lingers magically in our mind's ear.
Take a number like 'Can You Feel The Thunder', a simply stunning composition,
where a rolling piano line and iridescent string arrangement hold Ms Sundfor's
glorious voice aloft like sun breaking through billowing storm clouds. The
instrumental interlude, 'Meditation In An Emegency', which follows maintains
the sublime mood until the grinding riff and driving percussion of 'Among Us',
with its complex harmonies, hits us like a hammer blow between the eyes!
'Rome' is another perfectly-wrought sonic wonder, full of echoing otherworldly
rhythms, shimmering synths and a vocal turn bursting with deftly articulated
emotion. So too the sublimely simple but bewitchingly uplifting introduction
to title title track 'The Silicone Veil' which employs a gently plucked harp to
stunning effect until the full force of the central melody sweeps us clean away.
Best of all, perhaps, is the plaintive 'When'; a song to warm the coldest heart!
A remarkable achievement. The album is deservedly destined for my year's top ten.