Friday, 11 January 2019

Anna Von Hausswolff "Dead Magic" (2018)


This is my first record from Swedish singer Anna Von Hausswolff and It wont be my last! Her timeless vocals and meditative music an instant connection that's stoked the flames of emotion as her deeply resonate voice taps into the human life stream. She reminds me fondly of Lisa Gerrard who embodies worldly, cultural tones, however Anna has a voice that's strong, powerful and enigmatic yet caught in a blissful limbo of solace and sorrow. The music feels like the perfect setting for her haunting and grieving words to play out through spiritual, monotonous instrumentals that conjure earthly visions of nature alongside ambiguous echos of magical, evaded dangers. Its a unique cast of ideas heard in much of the music I enjoy. Here it comes together with a potent chemistry, a special touch that I simply adore.

The music has a fantastic droning quality, each song holds its moments together with a looping percussive momentum, letting shifts, turns and inclinations in intensity feel wholly natural and with true purpose. The deep pipe organs and embrace of droning synths smothered in reverb give each track its ambiguous belly as the drums come with tribal poundings to guide the flow. Rumbling, gritty, droning guitar distortions texture the mood on one track where another achieves this with acoustic chords and tambourine. String instruments weep there sorrow and synthesizers add to the Ethereal soundscapes along with many other sounds in the details.

The album starts in a warm place with a playful beat and two note melody guiding the musics into gleaming shifts of uplifting chords, chiming with her voice. The lengthy song collapses into an echo chamber of reflections as the pipe organ leads us to a dramatic and spiritual climax. It sets the stage for things to continuously darken as Anna exchanges her words between a gorgeously illusive and mysterious shimmering sound that drifts in and out of focus like a ghostly magic in the distance.

With Ugly And Vengeful we go on a dark journey, steadily descending into the depths on a sixteen minute epic that builds to an almighty, menacing atmosphere peaked by a unforgiving melody. The Marble eye is a beautiful pipe organ solo piece that gives one a sense of aftermath and loss with a creak of hope in its tone. The albums final track rolls out more of this feeling, bringing in her voice again with some wretched gritty noises of suffering buried deep under the organs brooding tone.

Dead Magic has been a recent addiction, a record I know I will treasure for times to come. A phenomenal spell is cast somewhere between her burdened voice and the brilliant instrumentals. With a meditative quality one embarks on a spiritual journey, each listen steers itself from knowing and embraces the abandon around her sorrow swept lyrics. It has a darkness far from evil or horror that's oddly comforting and unique given all the shades of shadows I enjoy. Wonderful record, would have been high up on My Top 10 Albums Of 2018 list. Now to get her other two albums!

Rating: 9/10

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