Boomkat Product Review:
Montréal-based Swedish singer/composer from Thus Owls and The Moth, Erika Angell, presents her solo debut.
"The Obsession With Her Voice is an expression of Angell’s inexhaustible love for art and music, a celebration of all the ways she has learned to articulate her instrument, a work of experimental exploration and feminist power that shimmers, cracks and shatters as it gathers the strands of one woman’s musical life.
As a child, Angell was taught lieder and opera music by her choir-leader mother; as a teenager in the countryside, she spent all of her days studying jazz; later, she’d explore free improv and post-industrial electronics in a duo called The Moth. 14 years ago, Angell founded the acclaimed, Polaris-nominated band Thus Owls, whose five LPs have traversed jazz and indie rock’s outer reaches. Angell has also collaborated with artists ranging from Daníel Bjarnason (Ben Frost, Sigur Rós), Arve Henriksen (Supersilent) and Lisen Rylander Löve (Midaircondo) to Liam O’Neill (SUUNS) and Patrick Watson, as well as inaugurating the New Music trio Beatings Are In The Body with Róisín Adams and Peggy Lee.
The ten tracks on The Obsession With Her Voice form a riveting collage, blending Angell’s searing and searching vocals with synths and electroacoustics (mixed brilliantly by Sam Woywitka), Jonathan Cayer’s mazelike string arrangements, and incandescent drum improvisations by Mili Hong. Throughout, Angell pushes and processes her voice, plunging overtop noise and percussion, tracing melodies of fearless complexity, instantaneity and conviction. Listen for echoes of Scott Walker’s The Drift, Jenny Hval’s Blood Bitch, Brigitte Fontaine’s Comme à la radio and Sidsel Endresen & Stian Westerhus’s Bonita.
The Obsession With Her Voice is Erika Angell’s attempt to express a feeling: a windswept one, raw and unfeigned. Songs that explode, music that trembles like a vibration on a string—a singer sharing an insight and also a wish."