Boomkat Product Review:
James Kelly (WIFE) lends bittersweet production touches to the brittle goth-pop styles of Norway’s Soft As Snow. RIYL Fever Ray
“The Norwegian-born, Berlin-based duo Soft as Snow release their debut album ‘Deep Wave’. It was created by Soft as Snow members Oda Egjar Starheim and Øystein Monsen, with additional mixing and production by WIFE of Tri Angle Records.
Their oblique leftfield pop recalls Cabaret Voltaire, Throbbing Gristle, deep Detroit techno, 90s IDM, Fever Ray, cold wave and the ‘Mutazione’ compilations, but is simultaneously fresh, original and groundbreaking, crowned with Oda’s esoteric and otherworldly voice. ‘Deep Wave’ follows two EPs - and as with those, the duo still avoid laptops, preferring analogue machinery, samplers, live drums and processed guitars - but this album marks a creative development, with their sound now deeper, more detailed and less simplistic than before.
Soft as Snow’s singular sound can in part be attributed to Oda’s background in performance art, (which brings a raw intuitive approach to vocals) and to Øystein’s drumming for various noise rock bands in Oslo’s underground scene (which explains their abrasive, rhythmic energy).
“We kept a lot of the first takes. There’s something with that first immediate energy that’s really essential and hard to recreate later on. It’s more important for us that the vocals have the right energy and feeling for the song, than being recorded properly and having to refine the lyrics”, says the duo.
Soft as Snow are two people making music with little acknowledgement for conventions of the outside world and ‘Deep Wave’ gives a peek into the sound-environment they’ve created. It’s genuinely original music, governed by its own unconventional logic, language and creatively free sense of play that’s simultaneously childlike, fun, harrowing, angular and dark.”