Susanne Sundfor
The Silicone Veil


4.0
excellent

Review

by Nick Butler EMERITUS
September 16th, 2012 | 19 replies | 7,132 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Scandinavia's music industry is having an impressive year.

There's clearly something in the air - between this, Grimes, iamamiwhoami, EMA, Grouper, Jenny Hval, Chelsea Wolfe, Julianna Barwick, Little Brother, tUnE-yArDs, Leni Ward, Julia Holter, Joanna Newsom, and the return of Fiona Apple, we're experiencing a golden age of quirky female auteurs with considerable individuality and sonic ambition. Long may it continue.

What distinguishes Susanne Sundfør from the rest of the pack, if only slightly, is the way that her own vision of art pop focuses on the pop as much as the art. Okay, so it's not exactly something you'd expect to hear on drivetime radio, but the production and the mixing of The Silicone Veil pushes Susanne Sundfør's voice out front, making every word she sings clear and legible in a way that's subtly unusual for this vague trend, where the normal voices are drenched in an ocean of reverb and the rest are generally encouraged to ham up their idiosyncrasies. Sundfør takes this clarity as an opportunity to soar, with wide leaps into her upper register becoming something of a trademark as the album wears on - the impression you get is that, while she doesn't have the most distinctive voice in the world, she does have one that would suit almost any genre, which is a virtue in itself.

Yet while her voice feels like the album's main strength on first listen, it doesn't take long to appreciate how good the music is here. The mood is consistent, wistful and pretty, but the sound touches on all sorts of bases -opener "Diamonds" feels like a relative of the This Mortal Coil version of "Song to the Siren" at first before moving into more exotic territory with Lisa Gerrard-esque Eastern-tinged melodies and frantic percussion, the excellent lead single "White Foxes" weds portentous piano to bubbling synths (as with a few tracks here, it reminds me a little of the better moments on The Gathering's If_Then_Else), "Rome" rides a throaty sawtooth synth line at times and a string quartet at others, the constantly rolling "Can You Feel the Thunder" co-opts some of Joanna Newsom's airiness, and the orchestral, instrumental "Meditations in an Emergency" could have been part of a Howard Shore film score. And that's just the first half.

Impressively, this all works an album, hanging together more naturally than any description would suggest. The first time it starts to feel a little odd is on the sixth track, "Among Us", which opens with some synths that suggest a much softer version of Nine Inch Nails' "Closer" before some off-kilter sliding strings come in. They're a little offputting, but Sundfør just about pulls it together when the vocals come in - and that is pretty much the only mis-step anywhere on the album. The consistency of mood and quality is little short of astounding, particularly as she is a big fan of introducing a completely new element halfway through a song to kick it into a new gear (see "The Silicone Veil", "Your Prelude", "Diamonds", and even the way "White Foxes" transitions into its chorus), a trick rarely conducive to this kind of atmosphere.

Carefully orchestrated, beautiful sung, and imaginatively written; I hadn't even heard the name Susanne Sundfør a week before I first heard this album, and yet The Silicone Veil falls so comfortably into my own tastes that I feel as if I've known about her for years. With a little more exposure, she has the potential to be a star.



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user ratings (47)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Rail
September 16th 2012



491 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice to see this get a review. I found this a little too easy to tune out at times, but it's rather pretty and affecting for the most part.

Digging: Merchandise - After The End

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
September 16th 2012



4507 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

WHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIITE FOXES

FelixCulpa
September 16th 2012



1239 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cool to see a review for this. And I agree with tornado. Such an awesome song, I mean that chorus! I should really listen to this as well as her debut some more.

Eclecticist
September 16th 2012



3863 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

your list of female auteurs could use Soso (SWE).

afergusonart
September 16th 2012



220 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

good review, album is great.

TheSaneLunatic
September 17th 2012



34 Comments


Unless I'm mistaken, Little Brother is a rap group.

Albus
September 17th 2012



77 Comments


Awesome album, well written review!

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
September 17th 2012



23806 Comments


nice review

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
September 17th 2012



3441 Comments


ONE REVIEW PER DAY

but seriously good review. may check this out

jrowa001
September 18th 2012



8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nice review, this was a solid follow-up to The Brothel

FelixCulpa
September 18th 2012



1239 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cause Norway is the second most expensive country after Switzerland in Europe, plus you know
shipping might be some if you're in the us. And right now the dollar is kinda cheap.

jimmykidd
September 19th 2012



528 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is pretty special.

hamid95
October 24th 2012



100 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Glad this is recently getting media attention that is actually from OUTSIDE of Norway.

buchoelbrusco
November 6th 2012



10 Comments


I never heard the album but I just heard that song white foxes and it´s fucking anoying, my brain was about to melt listening to this shit, but it´s my foult and it´s why I hate indie radios why can´t they just sort artists by genere who cares if they don´t have a contract or if they recorded it in their bathroom...

hamid95
November 9th 2012



100 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@buchoelbrusco

Step 1: Learn how to write
Step 2: Return and read my reply then
Step 3: ???
Step 4: PROFIT

wearepack
December 10th 2012



23 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Really enjoying this! Love her voice! Very fragile but also powerful if that makes sense? Love the tone of the music

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
August 4th 2013



1653 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is so good. Maybe my favorite female vocalist ever

Thane
August 4th 2013



2161 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

sweet

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
August 4th 2013



1653 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

She needs more attention on here. Seriously one of the most beautiful voices ever.



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