As we move beyond the Winter months, time to investigate some new releases which, in this instance, draws our attention to the joyful musings of Susanne Sundfør, the magickal pop of Elisabeth Elektra and the flourescent wit of Spray…
SUSANNE SUNDFØR – Alyosha
Listening to this new outing by Susanne Sundfør, it’s clear that her musical trajectory has been aiming towards more of a folk tradition (something that her last album Music for People in Trouble was clearly leaning into).
‘Alyosha’ is simply a joyous and optimistic number that serves as the perfect antidote for the current depressing news cycle. In fact, the lyrics are pointedly a reaction against a sense of pessimism and lack of empathy that seems to be in vogue. “Love has died and all is worthless/But that is not what I believe in” suggests Sundfør in this gentle, lilting number. The easy piano and guitar fills are backed up with some warm electronic washes resulting in a definite musical palette cleanser.
ELISABETH ELEKTRA – The Dream
2020’s Mercurial album (see TEC review) served up some much-needed euphoric electropop, while also demonstrating the considerable talents of Elisabeth Elektra.
Since then, Elektra has been keeping busy with collaborative outfit Silver Moth while also plotting Mercurial’s long-awaited follow-up. The first taste of that arrives with ‘The Dream’, a driving synth-powered affair that seems to throw a nod to Mecurial’s anthemic ‘My Sisters’. The song’s themes apparently revolve around “the initiatory nature of relationship breakdowns that often culminate in increased personal power and connection to and expression of ones true will.” If that sounds like it’s tracking closer to her debut album’s themes of transformation and change, then that’s very much part of Elektra’s MO.
At the same time, there’s something more muscular at work here which is captured in the song’s percussive drive and Elektra’s repeating mantra.
SPRAY – The Big Idea (Remix)
Originally appearing on their 2021 album, Ambiguous Poems About Death (see TEC review previously), ‘The Big Idea’ was one of that album’s standout moments. Now it’s been reimagined with a little more pep to it.
“We’re happy with every song we release” suggests Spray’s Ricardo Autobahn, “but we also like to experiment with them, see if they work in different styles and tempos.” The end result is a more energised version of the original which gives it more of a dancepop sensibility. At the same time, the song’s lyrical musings on ideas being hijacked and exploited remains present and correct typified by couplets such as:
And the big idea
Will be commandeered
By the financiers
For the racketeers
Meawnhile, there’s also an impressive Hyperextended Mix included which takes ‘The Big Idea’ to an impressive 60 minutes in length (while also invoking the spirit of the Pet Shop Boys).