6 Apr 2018

Anna Von Hausswolff: "Dead Magic"

A bridge over the deep waters that separate styles
Thanks to a former boss who recommended me her previous album, Anna Von Hausswolff is now one of those artists that I continually look forward to hearing from. The Miraculous from 2015 received a 9/10 rating, and I'm happy to say that while 2018's Dead Magic is in many areas a vastly different endeavour, it is absolutely as deserving of the same score.

Though the word "score" in the paragraph above is used in a different sense, the term is highly fitting of an album such as Dead Magic. The prominent use of the pipes of a church organ lends longer tracks like Ugly and Vengeful as well as the album opener The Truth, The Glow, The Fall a highly spiritual and, yes, film score-ish feel. As with previous efforts, the Swedish songwriter boasts a huge wingspan in terms of style, reaching easily across the haunting fragility of droning ambience to the shattering strength of distorted guitar-driven rock.

"...composed of a beautifully dirty grid of converging styles and sounds,"

Generally speaking Anna Von Hausswolff's fourth full length album is a bit on the abbrassive side of the sonic spectrum. Dead Magic's five tracks are composed of a beautifully dirty grid of converging styles and sounds, with Von Hausswolff's own vocals taking the helm when the sound image isn't clogged with droning guitars. The Swedish singer's voice bears a striking resemblance to some of Dead Can Dance singer Lisa Gerrard's work, while at other times - especially in the opening track - coming closer to the rich vibrato of Jefferson Airplane's Grace Slick or the meditative call of Jex Thoth.

As hinted at earlier, Dead Magic has tracks and passages that bridge the gap between "regular" music and film score material. Especially a composition like The Marble Eye brings to mind the works of Philip Glass on Koyaanisqatsi and Hans Zimmer's Interstellar soundtrack. And like those scores, Anna Von Hausswolff once again pulls us in with overwhelming ferocity and an incredible range in musical emotion. Definite AOTY material here.


Released in 2018 by City Slang


No comments:

Post a Comment