Tickling Our Fancy 094: Stella Sommer, Star Feminine Band, Augenwasser, Lucia Cadotsch…

November 6, 2020

Dominic Valvona’s Reviews Jamboree

Despite the game-changer omnipresence of the pandemic, and the ever-convoluted confusing nightmare of governments failing to keep a lid on this unpredictable virus, the all too predictable countdown to Christmas klaxon has been sounded, and the yearly “best ofs” selection prompting is in full swing. I haven’t actually worked out what the Monolith Cocktail will do this year for our own more eclectic “choice albums” articles. Somehow it seems so redundant in such miserable times when so many have been pushed into unemployment, and with the combined forces of a global virus and the ever-creeping progress of technology (streaming especially) that creatives are finding it impossible to keep doing what they love or survive under the stresses. Then again it is a chance to celebrate for us all the great music that continues to be made, even in this crisis. And there has been so much of it: the good stuff I mean.  

With that in mind, let me continue with the usual (unusual) haul of new releases; starting with the life-affirming all-girl troupe from Benin, the Star Feminine Band, and their debut album of joyously delivered serious issues of female empowerment and emancipation in Africa.

Stella Sommer follows up a stunning Lutheran romantic solo debut with a second album of unrushed, beautiful maladies and wanton yearns, Northern Dancer. Imbued by the times and a penchant for the dank miserablist steel synth cities of England, Augenwasser releases his new synth-soul album Sleepdancer for Bongo Joe. The Parisian synth-pop duo Tender Tones manage to turn in a brilliant sophisticated pop EP after the setback of a burglary and the loss of their recordings. Lucia Cadotsch is back with her Speak Low Trio for another meandrous, amorphous voiced jazzy volume of German stage songs, ballads and jazz wonders. And lastly, Krakow’s Corticem look to the stars and beyond on their epic industrial, Krautrock, and spasmodic Planetarium escape.  

In the singles section we have Teppo Mäkynen moonlighting under his soul food alias The Stance Brothers, with a beat-y soul snap jazz new 7” for We Jazz (the second release from the Helsinki label to make the cut this week); Verse Bang touches down in L.A. with his candid pandemic trap video ‘Open Space’; Julia Meijer finds inspiration under the waves on the latest single to drop from next year’s The Place Where You Are EP; and we have a snippet preview from the upcoming Night Dreamer label’s next direct-to-disc session; a fuzzed and scuzzed fusion from the pioneers of Anadolu Psych, Moğollar.

Singles/Videos

Moğollar ‘Anatolian Sun – An Introduction Preview’
(Night Dreamer)

Following the recently released Hayvan Gibi live BaBa ZuLa album session for the “direct-to-disc” project label Night Dreamer, comes a similar session from one of the original Anatolian pioneers, Moğollar. Inspiring the Istanbul souk rock and psychedelic BaBa – the group’s founding member Osman Murat Ertel actually produced this session – psych originators Moğollar have been lured into the studio to cut their first new material in over a decade for the seventh installment of this brilliant expletory and dynamic series.

Anatolian Sun Part 1 & Part 2 is framed as a career overview; a sagacious vision of weathered bowed, aching, longing Turkish atavistic landscapes and progressive, fuzzed and scuzzed psychedelic rocking.

A little detail and context to get you in the mood:

‘Formed in 1967 with keyboardist Murat Ses at the helm, Moğollar were the original Anadolu psych originators. [Among their achievements] They were the first Turkish pop band who tried to blend the microtonal folklore and traditional instruments of rural Anatolia with Western pop and rock; they were the first Turkish psychedelic band to achieve overseas recognition, winning the prestigious French Grand Prix Du Disque in 1971 after a period in Paris; and they coined the very phrase ‘Anadolu Pop’ with their first album release. They were radical, innovative, and hugely popular, and when the great artists of the Turkish rock revolution appeared on the scene, Moğollar were already there – stars including Barış Manço, Selda, Cem Karaca and Ersen all recorded with them or briefly joined the line-up. Moğollar were and are the undisputed pioneers of the style.

Moğollar first emerged out of the pop group Silüetler (‘The Silhouettes’), with whom the young Istanbul-raised keyboardist Murat Ses had been playing. Silüetler had enjoyed some success in the mid-1960s, but the mercurial Ses wanted to push his music into new realms. Recruiting Silüetler’s vocalist Aziz Ahmet, they formed Moğollar in late 1967, and were joined shortly after by visionary bassist Taner Öngür and electric guitarist and saz player Cahit Berkay, both of who [still] feature in the group to this day. Ses and his band mates had long been fascinated by the traditional microtonal folklore and rural instruments of Turkey’s Anatolian hinterland, and were determined to bring them into Western pop and rock to create a radically new kind of Turkish popular music. By the end of the 1960s Moğollar had found underground stardom across Turkey, playing a truly original mixture of Anatolian folklore, Western pop and wailing late 1960s psychedelia. We have a preview video to share with you right now, ahead of the album’s release on the 11th December 2020.

See also:

BaBa ZuLa ‘Hayvan Gibi’  (Here…)

The Stance Brothers ‘On Top’
(We Jazz Records) 6th November 2020

Hark at the cool, bar room hang out vibes of this one! Another We Jazz 7” of effortless in-crowd jazz that reimagines The Sorcerers teaming up with The Afro Soul-Tet, Rufus Harley and Mel Brown, but remixed by Madlib: Yep that’s great praise indeed from me.

Under the soul food imbued The Stance Brothers alias, producer/drummer Teppo Mäkynen works the “guitar & flute (played in this instance by Timo Lassy under the cover of his Diamond T cover)”, “organ & vibes” and “beat” into three different versions of a reimagined Stax-Hip-Hop-Jazz sizzler. Nothing else needs to be said: A solid soul-snap of jazz.  

Fans of the Helsinki hub We Jazz can find a second release this month in the albums section below, with Lucia Cadotsch’s trip-y, freeform album of reinterpretations Speak Low II.

See also…

OK:KO/Alder Ego/Timo Lassy & Teppo Mäkynen ‘Ateneum 2019 (We Jazz Live Plates VOL. 2)’  (Here…)

Stanley J. Zappa ‘Muster Point’  (Here…)

JAF Trio ‘S/T’ – Otis Sandsjö ‘Y-OTIS 2’  (Here…)

Verses Bang ‘Open Space (Oozhe Remix)’

Verses “the eagle” Bang has flown the UK coop for pastures new, relocating recently to the allure of L.A. And who could blame him as the dank drizzle of early evenings draw in on a miserable winter lockdown. The idiosyncratic and pop culture sartorial dressed burgeoning artist isn’t about to let the coronavirus dampen this new life, as he touches down in his new city with a candid offering of trap.

On the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard, Bangs reiterates his ongoing recovery from addictions (Codeine and weed) and struggles with mental health to a backdrop of artifice; all shot on that Pandora’s box of artificial validation, the iPhone. The pandemic bubble of L.A. looks appealing in aquamarine tinted filter, but there’s a battle going on here below the surface; a confession and search for identity in a an age of high anxiety and rage.

Following on from the deconstruction of an addicted personality, Cardigans & Calories, and a clutch of video singles and tracks, Bangs conveys the isolation we all feel at the moment, trapped in the middle of a worldwide virus. Getting in the right headspace, Bangs uses his platform wisely to rap candidly about his travails and the woes, worries he and many of us are feeling right now.   

I wish him all the luck in the world with his move Stateside. And look forward to hearing his new material.

See also…

Verses Bang ‘The Eagle Has Landed’  (Here…)

Julia Meijer ft. Fyfe Dangerfield ‘Under Water’
(Pindrop) 6th November 2020

Far exceeding the Scandi-pop or indie tag that seems to haunt and follow around any artists or band from that part of the world, the much more tactile and expansive singer-songwriter Julia Meijer seems to channel new, wider influences on each release she puts out on the burgeoning Pindrop label.  Based actually in Oxford, the Swedish-born artist has been experimenting with a sound that encompasses folk, indie, pop, new wave and subtle electronica. I pretty much rated her 2019 debut album Always Awake, which I said at the time fluctuated brilliantly between the hymnal, the synth-glistened and rocking: a mix of Lykke Li, Kate Nash and New Young Pony Club.

Ahead of next year’s The Place Where You Are EP, and following on from recent singles ‘Skydda Dig’ and ‘The Place Where You Are, the third single from that songbook ‘Under Water’ drops today. Once more featuring the lush harmonious woes of former Guillemots front man Fyfe Dangerfield, who is part of Julia’s backing band, this latest alluring – but also prowling almost – single has an air of Fleetwood Mac about it. Nicely tampered with subtle washes and a stepped-up rhythmic drive, Julia searches for new perspectives under the echoed waves.

Julia has this to say about the single’s inspiration and theme:

“The inspiration for ‘Under Water’ came to me when I was snorkeling once. It felt like I was in space, things moved very slowly. I wanted to capture that sense of peace and slow pace in the music, but also a creeping sense of panic and stress. The lyrics are about the thoughts that came up in my head as I was swimming and got to see things from a new perspective, like looking up towards the sky from under the water”.

A swimmingly well-crafted song that bodes well for next year’s EP.

See also…

Julia Meijer ‘Always Awake’  (Here…)

Albums/EPs..

Star Feminine Band ‘S/T’
(Born Bad Records) 13th November 2020

Disarming a serious message of female liberation and opportunity with the most joyous, passionate and brightly fluttering of song, the Star Feminine Band sound like (Le) Musical Youth meets Wells Fargo and the Dur Dur Band on their debut album for the Paris label Born Bad. With a remarkable backstory, coming together in the most unusual of circumstances and uniquely pushing the rights of sisterhood in their Benin homeland, this cast of young kids and teenagers (though those ages hide the fact they’ve had to grow up fast in a society that undervalues female empowerment and freedom) send out the positive vibes through an embrace of Ghanaian Highlife, Congolese Rumba, Soweto lilting choral soul, Nigerian Afrobeat, the local Vodun and even Calypso. 

It’s no surprise that Benin has such a glorious mix of styles within and bleeding over its border, caged-in as it is by Togo, Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Niger. It is a shinning intersection of African music and a progenitor of styles itself, home to such legends as Gnonnas Pedro and Antione Dougbe. Those male titans can now make room for this sisterhood of infectious, candid girls from the remote Northern town of Natitingou.

At this point we need a little background for context. Answering the call of this project’s instigator Andrè Balagueman through a local radio station for girls interested in taking part in a series of free music training sessions, five of the eventual lineup arrived from that remote Northern Benin village in response. They were joined by two of Balagueman’s own daughters to make this a seven-piece. With no previous musical experiences other than natural talent, they were all taught the drums, guitar, bass and keyboards. Sessions were intense, fitted in-between the priority of school. No one though could quite predict how this project would keep building momentum. But then not everyone has the driver that propels this group. Music for them is nothing short of emancipation, the opportunity to break away from a male-dominated culture.

Prospects are slim for women in many of these outposts, where forced marriages and teen pregnancies are common. Employment means selling bar peanut, bananas and the local “millet drink”. Thankfully the noise that started to grow around this breakout band garnered much attention nationally. The mayor of Natitingou even designated them a practice space.

Furthering an obvious appeal and rich polyrhythmic energy, French engineer Jérémie Verdier carried news of this unique Benin wonder to Europe: stumbling upon the band whilst volunteering in the country a couple of years ago. On his return home he enthused about them to the Spanish engineers and videographers Juan Toran and Juan Serra, who were fascinated enough to seek out and record them: both musically and for a short documentary.   

What they captured is a sweetened, spritely youthful energy; a burgeoning, blooming even, upbeat Afro-pop, soul, funk and choral record of girl-power. Far from some kind of manufactured band, or gimmick, the Star Feminine Band really do have something to shout about; whether that’s a demand for equality on tracks such as the swaddled Township ‘Femme Africaine’, or in encouraging women to succeed, as they do on the shared vocal stubbed drums loose ‘Rew Be Me’.  That second track is sung in the “Peul” ethnic group dialect (one of the largest nomadic groups in the Sahel and West African regions), and is just one of various languages and tribal heritages that you’ll hear on a championed shared experience of ethnic diversity. The Highlife trilled, drum splashed dance ‘Iseo’ is a call to arms in that respect, exhorting a need for the many strands of Benin culture to unite for the common good.

But amongst the lilting and tighter invigorating performances this is about providing a real space for women to break with convention, and to wrestle free of constrictive traditions. As its instigator Balagueman puts it: “I simply wanted to show the importance of women in the societies of North Benin by forming a female orchestra.” With ages as young as ten, and the oldest only seventeen, there’s a long bright future ahead for this group, who create nothing short of infectious sunshine joy.

Tender Tones ‘Youth Retirement Club’
(Somewherecold Records) 14th November 2020

Constantly increasing their roster and tastes, North American hub Somewherecold Records’ latest signing is the Paris-based Tender Tones synth-pop pairing of Manon Deruytere and Maxine Parguad. An electro gliding fantasy of sophisticated French pop, shoegaze and Chromatics like vaporous exuded diaphanous lure, the duo provides the most crystalline and clean synthesized soundtracks to an occasion of woe and setbacks. For this is version two of what should have been the debut EP, a reconstruction from memory after the original recordings were stolen along with the Tenders gear in a burglary at their Parisian apartment.    

A recreation then, Youth Retirement Club is a record haunted by that miscreant crime, something that can’t help but seem even more personal than the theft of obvious valuables. And so a certain menace and sense of loss permeates the often driven sparkling pulse of this nu-wave glinting synth-noir extended EP.

With duets (sort of) throughout, combining a shadowed deeper male voice with a breathless, more sighed and cooed female vocal, the duo sing and skulk over a balance of the heavenly (‘In Dreamed Lives’) and a blazing alarm of broody darker forbade (‘Red Lovers’). All the while lyrics speak of resigned romanticisms, nostalgia and broken dreams. That nostalgia seeps into the very fabric of this dreamscape, resulting in echoes of the 70s and 80s. But it’s a manufactured past; an alternative soundtrack to Stranger Things, with moments of a more disarming Depeche Mode and Vangelis.

A superb breathe of fresh air in this genre, with customary French élan, the Youth Retirement Club is for lovers of Jennifer Touch and Emika, and just anyone after a classy evocative outpour of synth-pop sophistication. They’ve not only turned a bad situation and loss into a win, but also managed to produce a great EP.  

Augenwasser ‘Sleepdancer’
(Bongo Joe) 13th November 2020

Augenwasser @ Champagne Festival – Stadion Gurzelen29.08.2020 Patrick Principe

It hasn’t surprised me to find the latest release from Elias Rascle’s electronic alter-ego Augenwasser is in partnership with Bongo Joe, as there are certain post-punk and C86 synth imbued tracks on the new album that wouldn’t sound out of place on that label’s recent survey of 80s obscured Swiss experimental electronica, INTENTA. A real Swiss affair (the label, the artist and at least some of the sonics it is inspired by all emanating from that alpine retreat), the multi-instrumentalist artist Elias also seems attracted to the damp eerie-synth of a Northern English city: somewhere like late 70s Sheffield or Manchester. That means echoes of Cabaret Voltaire, early Human League and such amongst hints of DAF, Kas Product and even Suicide. But far from a rainy dank steel city sound, this album is actually quite soulful in its romantic gestures and forlorn.

Fatigued by a daily grind, he dreamily and hypnotically drifts through a somnolent suffusion of Casio pre-set rhythms, snozzled and floaty saxophone, trance-y guitar, Geiger counter tight and padded electronic drums and synthesized organ; all the time referencing a search for the “light”.

Often resigned sounding, our synth-troubadour comes on like a post-punk Jim Morrison; especially on the album’s Velvet Underground-esque lead single and opener ‘Paid The Rent/Going Out’. But the next languid reverberation from the ether, the ‘Work Wait Work’ cycle sounds like Teardrop Explodes era Julian Cope hovering over a Harmonia track. ‘Back To Daylight’ reimagines a vampiric Nilsson if he’d signed to Mute Records on a kind of synth-noir, slurred night owl downer that could easily be a damnation of a depleting nightshift job. 

Elias could be actually sleepwalking, hugging Kippenberger’s contorted bent street lamps, on a sort of sloshed traipse through art-school Casio Bossa with ‘Born On A Saturday’. But by the end of the Sleepdancer album he strikes up Roedelius’s piano, for the melodious float-y curtain call ‘Dead Of Night Running Away’.

It’s an album of insular blues, lost causes and despondent soul, finely crafted to ooze a sophisticated aura of melodic lo fi electronic pop that feels just right in these present pandemic days. This isn’t to say Sleepdancer is a dark or miserable experience. Elias continues to experiment freely with his songwriting on this dream state of a chiming, untethered record. 

Lucia Cadotsch ‘Speak Low II’
(We Jazz) 27th November 202
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This edition of my fancies is turning into a We Jazz label love-in, with this being the second release from the Helsinki hub to make the cut this month. Tripping a light fantastic across a curious and congruous selection of covers and standards, two of We Jazz’s (sort of) house band members, Otis Sandsjo (of Y-OTIS reconstructive hip-hop jazz fame) and Peter Eldh (of the masterful Koma Saxo), once more join forces with the amorphous voiced Lucia Cadotsch to re-shape the unfamiliar familiar under the umbrella of the Berlin-based Swiss singer’s Speak Low Trio.

Arriving five years after the debut album, but a well-oiled machine thanks to plenty of live performances, the trio expand the ranks to accommodate the prestigious ECM label solo pianist Kit Downes and cellist Lucy Railton. Equally as untethered, on a serial pathway of musical freedom, this broadened set-up meanders, drifts, floats and hovers over a flowing oeuvre of German stage numbers, ancient folk laments, avant-garde troubadour maladies and jazz balladry on the second volume of such interpretations – that first volume featuring the trio’s favourite songs of the previous decade.

Reminding me in part of Max Andrzejewski’s Hutte And Guests Play The Music Of Robert Wyatt album, the Speak Low trio go down a both psychedelic dreamy and free-flowing route as they capture something of the essence, mood of the originals. And so Duke Ellington’s 1937 bi and polytonality ballad wonder ‘Azure’ maintains much of its mystery and exoticism, but now takes on a more otherworldly spellbound loose quality with Kit’s mirror-y organ shimmers and Otis’ snuffled stubbed tenor saxophone. Luica’s voice is pretty magical too; a jazzy range of wooing, coos and freely tripping allurement.

Randy Newman’s most covered song ‘I Think It’s Going To Rain Today’ is given a suffused lightened warm touch of snuggled sax and spidery double-bass, whilst Eno’s piano downer (but touching) ‘By This River’ has a more romantic, even ethereal touch. The Ahmed Jamel Trio’s 50s augur ‘What’s New’ and Tony WilliamsThere Comes A Time’ are both effortlessly combined for an experiment of be-bop, trip-hop and melodious longing. And that crooners and majesties favourite yearning ballad, ‘Wild Is The Wind’, is let loose, pulled away from the moody dragging version made famous by Bowie to a unique space of weather stirring aped sax (which sounds at times like some pained creature), pondering double-bass and a beautifully moving vocal. A second Bowie connection, Brecht’s infamous and recycled macabre Baal production song ‘Ballad Of A Drowned Girl’ was performed and recorded by the cracked actor of course. This sorry episode sees the seduced victim of that play’s protagonist kill herself by drowning – inspired in fact by both the murder of famous Marxist revolutionary martyr Rosa Luxemburg in 1919, and Ophelia. In this vision, the trio tip-toe around in a watery graveyard of flitting, trickling, dancing river life; the mood and drama enervated by a most meandrous vocal. Mirage-y, bowed, haunted and rasping with spasms of rhythms and spiraling, this second volume of jazzy transformations is a master class in unburdened reinterpretations; the group neither tied to or beholden to the source material they’re riffing and freely playing around with. That’s not to say they haven’t given these songs the respect they’re due, but that they offer only an amorphous thread, a layline in which to focus on and then stretch, push beyond. More than that, it’s a great, most beautiful jazz album; the star turn of which is Lucia’s stunning if effortlessly sounding gossamer vocals.  

Corticem ‘Planetarium’
(Submarine Broadcasting) 21st October 2020

Less Holst The Planets magnum opus, more lo fi Krautrock purview of a sinister, mysterious cosmology, beamed from a subterranean bunker in Krakow, Corticem’s Plantetarium dials into the present pandemic dystopia whilst casting a soundtrack of awe at those heavenly bodies. I say from Krakow, and a bunker, but the trio have lost their previous studio/rehearsal space; the loss of which acting as an unfortunate stimulus for the mix of industrial, entrancing, cosmic and experimental exploration on this minor-opus of concentrated malcontent, despondency and rage. In the rush they quickly took action to record sessions to tape using whatever they could hastily pack up. This set up works out as “Theremin-like feedback loop from a cigarette pack-sized amp held up to the guitar pickup; multi-tracked bowed cymbals; a single mic on a drum kit running through a broken amp; reversed drums; and the walls”. A description that pretty much does my job for me, as that is exactly how it sounds.

Formed by members of the “songs strange and not so-strange” Sawak in the Polish city of Krakow, Corticem finds the trio of orbital sonic cosmonauts Bogdan Markiewicz, Antonello Perfetto and Greg Nieuwsma looking to escape towards the stars but anchored to the malaise and mounting horrors of terra firma: A world gripped in Covid distress. Not unsurprisingly tracks such as the interplanetary raga doom rocking ‘Planet Coronavirus; The Dying Quasar’ have an atmosphere of prevailing dread; a merging of scientific speak samples, suffused fuzz, guitar friction and drum beats, all lost in a smog.  ‘Planet Bye & Good Riddance’ warps a newsreader’s update on coronavirus cases in the trio’s Poland-based home to a soundtrack of mosey galactic cowboy music. The final nail on that coffin of discontent and derision at what our world has become, ‘Planet JuJu: The Nasty Earth’ resonates with very bad JuJu, as a vocal becomes more and more deranged and tortured. Sonically speaking, hi-frequency whines like a quivering viola or violin from Outside The Dream Syndicate pierces Klaus Dinger’s drums and a cacophony of Cage.

There’s alien abduction to the synth menace of Bernard Szajner’s Dune missives, Air Liquide, Jóhann Jóhannsson darker stirrings and Future Sound Of London on the foreboding rotor beamed dark material ‘I Went To Mars And All I Got Was Abducted’. And a rewire, part augur of future resource calamity and part pun riff on the moon landings, with the opening reversal whipped and sucking ‘7001: Houston, We Have A Drinking Problem’. Actually, it’s quite a nice contemplative track that reminded me of both Daniel Lanois and Craig Ward.

Greek myths abound on the ecclesiastical ARP like mystery of ‘Mercury: Between Gods And Mortals’ – imagine Tangerine Dream’s cathedral organ synth -, and ‘Jupiter Is A Warped Tape’ imagines a slurred HAL and slow beat to avant-garde jazz spasms of drums version of a union between Jello Biafra and The Heroes Of Hiphoprisy. Throw in liberal contortions of Swans, the faUSt pairing of Jean-Hervé Peron and Zappi Diermeir, Mythos, the satellite refraction broadcasts of Gunther Wusthoff, The Cosmic Range, Itchy-O and Ash Ra Tempel and you get the picture.

The Submarine Broadcasting platform is on a roll of late; Planetarium being among the best, most interesting and thoughtful albums they’ve ever released. A commanding oeuvre as dystopian and alarming as it is alien, otherworldly. Definitely making my end of year articles.

Stella Sommer ‘Northern Dancer’
(Northern Dancer Records/The Orchard) 30th October 2020

A thawing of the Lutheran North European romantic malady that permeated Stella Sommer’s beautifully yearning debut album, the German songstress seems to almost float across the paused and gorgeous follow-up, Northern Dancer.

Still evoking the deeply voiced presence of Nico and a smoky, aged Marianne Faithful, Stella’s gauzy Teutonic venerable vocals also open up peaceably, dreamily and delicately on what is another songbook of longing and isolation. For this is a much softer effort than 2018’s 13 Kinds Of Happiness, which offered the odd barreling bounding gallop of early 80s Bowie and Kate Bush.

The instrumentation this time around is a controlled enervated vapour of colliery brass and gentle orchestration swells: A sort of pastoral woodland of pizzicato strings, timpani, flute, tuba and shimmery splashed cymbal crescendos. There’s also a sparse but lovely use of rolling and plonked piano, some light guitar and a withheld suffusion of ambient atmospherics. All of which is perfectly pleasing and melodious but above all stirring; resembling, as the main theme seems to be, a riverside or ocean and pier scene of wanton love and heartache. You could say it captures a lapping tide, or the waves, as a sagacious Stella sends out flowery metaphors to an absent lover, listener, confidante.

Yet, there are touches too of Scott Walker’s morose, and even some supernatural Nick Cave (through the filter of Lee Hazelwood) to be found on songs such as ‘Young Ghost, Old Century’.    

Overall a work of pulchritude vulnerability and hushed intoned romantic yearns, Stella Sommer’ second beatific album offers an even subtler songbook of both existential and visceral tender malady: Not so much a progression, improvement on that stunning debut, more a lighter, mature gossamer extension of it, every bit as breathtaking and unrushed.    

See also:

Stella Sommer ’13 Kinds Of Happiness’  (Here…)

Hi, my name is Dominic Valvona and I’m the Founder of the music/culture blog monolithcocktail.com For the last ten years I’ve featured and supported music, musicians and labels we love across genres from around the world that we think you’ll want to know about. No content on the site is paid for or sponsored and we only feature artists we have genuine respect for /love. If you enjoy our reviews (and we often write long, thoughtful ones), found a new artist you admire or if we have featured you or artists you represent and would like to buy us a coffee at https://ko-fi.com/monolithcocktail to say cheers for spreading the word, then that would be much appreciated.

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