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Voodoo Child The End Of Everything LP – CD Trophy Records

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"Of all the crucial transmissions to be sent from Gothenburg over the last few years, Astrid Øster Mortensen's early 2021 debut, Gro Mig En Blomst, was perhaps the most unexpected, an unheralded work of fragile beauty that seemed to strike a chord with the lucky few who were able to snag a copy. Less than twelve months later she's back with another collection that doubles down on her unique talent, while taking the listener in new directions. Gro Mig... was presented as a series of impressionistic sketches, suggesting an explorative creative impulse, albeit one yet to settle on a final form. Skærsgardslyd retains a number of those stylistic similarities - lo-fi, folk-orientated, subtle in its rendering, and underscored with the ambience of extraneous sound - yet also feels like the product of a much more confident musician. There are just eight songs here, most considerably longer than the 14 on the debut, and the pacing of the record is extremely patient - Mortensen's voice, a quietly evocative coo, doesn't appear until the end of side A and disappears just as it begins to connect. Those first three wordless songs begin to sound like a set up for the second side, a truly beautiful run of compositions blessed with spartan arrangements - mainly just piano, organ, guitar & voice - and a fervent emotional depth. Skærsgardslyd is most certainly a product of the current Gothenburg scene, but it reminded me most of first hearing the Golden Apples of the Sun compilation - say, Diane Cluck or White Magic - and their beguiling and gently avant reimaginings of folk aesthetics. This one takes a moment to flower, but when it does, the results are vivid and unique. Took me a minute to realise, but i think Skærsgardslyd might better the debut, and i keep finding myself drawn back to it, trying to unravel its contemplative charms. "
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