Boomkat Product Review:
Stroom introduce a striking new artist, Susanna Stark with her debut showcase of folk and pop-inspired songcraft set to enchanted backdrops of midnight electronics and smoky jazz notes - RIYL Susanna, Cindytalk, Teresa Winter, This Mortal Coil, Heather Leigh.
No doubt sounding like a Scottish sibling to her Norwegian namesake, Susanna, Stark makes a memorable first impression with her finely accomplished vocal range and nuanced production that perhaps betrays a life spent around this kind of music. As such there’s a rare authenticity of authorship to ‘Time Together (Hues & Intensities)’ that feels experiential, rather than pasted on or worn like some “boho” festival outfit, and likewise that rooting or immersion in folk-pop allows Susannah to best mess with the form from the inside-out, locating something new and timelessly vital in archaic styles.
Compiled by Stroom’s label shaman Ziggy Devriendt from songs written 2017-2020, the album unfurls the “Hues & Intensities” of the title between pagan paean ‘Saturn’ and more experimental urges on ‘Dear Beloved Friend’, deftly using her shapeshifting vocals as a common but elusive thread between the were-like apparitions channelling early Christian mystics in ‘Reprise’, and the plaintive beauty of ‘This Is For Us’, before taking centerstage in moonlit glade scenes that turn psychodramatic in Remind You’, and follow to probe more curiously modern sort of folkdance magick inspired by ancient Hindu scripture in ‘Can Of Worms’, and joined by what sounds like Raime and Cindytalk describing the wild Scottish landscapes in the finale ‘Unnatural Wealth’.