Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Silje Nes – Ames Room

This Norwegian singer/songwriter is sure to draw comparisons to fellow Sub-Arctic siren Björk’s for her blend of wobbly electronics and acoustic inflected pop experiments. Nes is much more of ship in a bottle to Björk’s galleon, though. Not exactly fragile, the pieces of Ames Room are still miniature, but once assembled they become something unexpected and charming. Perhaps a more appropriate comparison would be to Finnish avant-folk artist Islaja, whose work seems likewise more “built” than “played.” It’s a slippery affair to pin down, with a title track that burbles and chirps like jay in a natural spring followed by the drum machine and guitar drone of “Giant Disguise,” a track that wouldn’t be out of place on an early Cat Power album. This in turn is followed by “Dizzy Street,” which imagines a Belle & Sebastian / Fiery Furnaces détente. Nes’ approach is a hybrid of her classical piano background in collision with freewheeling home recording, making for a surefooted traipse through whimsical and tricky terrain.


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