Rebekka Karijord - Mother Tongue

by Mark Steele Rating:8 Release Date:2017-01-27

2017 could possibly be a wait and watch year, as we could see many mysterious events unveil before our eyes. We could well do with music that provides some acting parallel to this age, if indeed as only a personal soundtrack addition to justify our current feelings and moral/socio-political persuasions.

Scandinavian songstress, Rebekka Karijord brings us the appropriately winter 11-track collection of minimalist melancholic sonic sculptures, Mother Tongue. Which may easily lure fans of Kate Bush, Angel Olsen, Tori Amos, Florence Welch, Enya and Maire Brennan.

The opening bars embed simply haunting minor vocal arpeggios on 'Morula', with piano, strings and a deep slow-march percussive movement. Rebekka's vocals are intensely theatrical and meaningful on this starter and are evidently seeped throughout the whole album. Harp flourishes bring us into the fantasmical 'Waimanalo', with it's Bolero-rescue beat, eerie strings comping, joined by a slothful bass. Rebekka's vocals are misty and slightly icy, whilst they also conjure a solitary vastness. Further seen later on the rich harmony-laden 'Statistics', remarkably Clannad-Esque in its vocal depth and rhythmic mesmerism.

Shamanic warbling of 'I Will Follow You Into The Wild', moans over a constant thing string drone. A sweet wind blows freely on 'The Orbit', with a piano intro reminiscent to 'Madness's It Must Be Love'. Brushes on a snare, accompany lurking piano chords around a mystical eastern blues vocal over 'Your Name', possessing a brightening orchestration crescendo, following some clear classic organ injections. It is a real gem to find the spirit of Enya and Maire Brennan continuing in songs such as lush existential poem 'Six Careful hands'. Their music was ahead of its time and it must be enjoyable for them to hear those with an updated version of their atmospheric cosmic sound. An evenly paced jazz bassline pushes you along with tribal drums guiding 'Home', piano/harp runs, underneath the Tori Amos-like weeping vocals lines.

An oaken blues bassline gives a dramatic edge to the bouncing 'Stones', which has a percussive melody pattern, with a bright ending to counteract the dusky presence found earlier in the track. The piano leads the accompaniment on the power ballad 'Mother Tongue', not at all failing to employ the vocal rich choir to great effect. Similarly, final track 'Mausoleum' blows us into the spacious vocal and harmonic expanse, majestically bringing things to a close.

Mother Tongue seems an appropriate album for these January blues. Most of the songs have an enticing quality through Rebekka's vocals, and musical arrangements. Here we have a revived sound that should be explored and experimented further on future releases.

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