Boomkat Product Review:
Norwegian songwriter Silje Nes serves up a second full-length for Fat Cat, and with this new offering you can certainly hear a more mature artist to the one that released 2007's Ames Room. 'Symmetry Of Empty Space' finds loose fitting electric guitars joining up with half-formed beats in a beguilingly slipshod fashion as various small percussive devices and bowed string textures float in and out of the mix. Over this fairly rickety, low-key backdrop Nes intones her half-whispered vocal and carves out a miniaturised sonic universe that's all her own. You might find yourself thinking about fellow Scandinavians Múm or Stina Nordenstam along the way, but as it unfolds Opticks establishes Nes as very much her own woman. Impressively, just about everything you hear is Nes' own handiwork too, although she does invite one or two contributors to join in on some arrangements - Ronald Lippok (he of To Rococo Rot and Tarwater fame) being among this select bunch. In addition to excellent self-penned entries like 'The Card House', 'Crystals' and the standout closing track 'Ruby Red' you'll find a lone cover: Thurston Moore's 'Silver Blue' (which originally appeared on the Sonic Youth founder's underrated Trees Outside The Academy solo album). The original is reconfigured as a hushed and intimately spun post-folk delicacy that Nes deftly makes all her own.