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Boomkat Product Review:
Susanna Wallumrød returns on Rune Grammofon, shedding both her Magical Orchestra and its recent covers-only policy with an album of brand new original compositions. There's a veritable plethora of guests queuing up to get on the album, but it feels resolutely like a solo outing for Wallumrød, who takes the stark, frostbitten simplicity of her previous work and gently pushes it down several notches, exposing her implausibly even, heart-stoppingly emotive vocal under the most intimate of recording circumstances. The Deathprod production is predictably bang on the money, with every component of these courageously unencumbered arrangements revealed with a considerable degree of low-key sensitivity. Take for example the threadbare piano backbone of 'Intruder', featuring Susanna's similarly talented brother Christian (someone who'll be familiar to all you ECM followers out there), or the harp and celesta tones of 'Hangout'. The latter makes for an especially beautiful piece of instrumentation, marking a respectfully unintrusive appearance by Morten Qvenild (of the Magical Orchestra). Further contributions come from members of fellow Rune Grammofon recording artists In The Country and The White Birch, but some of the most effective work comes from Deathprod himself: Helge Sten's slide and bowed guitar work soars quietly alongside Susanna's effortless, otherworldly voice. You can imagine an album like this sitting very comfortably alongside the same sort of radio playlists occupied by Joan As Policewoman and the like - Susanna is able to evoke comparably spine-tingling results from such a heavily pared down sound, and certainly, she deserves crossover recognition of a similar order with Sonata Mix Dwarf Cosmos. Highly Recommended.