Friday, December 7, 2012

Hanne Kolstø | FlashBlack

It feels like I've just put down the record player's needle (good old vinyl records, huh?); the vinyl would still feel warm from playing it; and I'd just told the world about Riot Break. Yet it didn't even take a year to release the follow-up for Hanne Kolstø's debutrecord.

FlashBlack provides ten popsongs. Partly very complex and gloomy and light and danceable on the other hand. In contrary to Kolstø's first record Riot Break the songs don't have their climax in a orchestral sphere rather in a landscape with all kinds of sounds and noises. The album is provoking curiosity as well as satisfying it - it's the 2nd of a record-triology; adding another piece to the puzzle.

Pretty Veil was the first song that was released due to the "alternative christmas calender" in 2011. It's rather trivial in its arrangement but is riveting at the same time. Gloomy but honest. Suitable to the darker and cold season of the year.

After lots of touring including gigs in Norway and abroad, the summer came. And along the first official singlerelease: La-la-la-la Lovesong. "I lay awake at night, I'm not myself. So sick and tired of La-la-la-la Lovesong." Hanne's anti-lovesong quickly made its way to Norwegian radio stations and P3 ranges it among the Best Norwegian Songs in 2012. The soundrange for this one reaches back to 80s syth-pop elements. Casio-tunes, muted strings and rich cymbal work creating the rythm. Watch here the offical video for La-la-la-la Lovesong.

It got a bit quiet around Kolstø until September came and FlashBlack finally was released. Many songs remind of Depeche Mode, late Tears for Fears, Radiohead or maybe even a mixture of it all. Especially The Scoop could be ranged into the 80s with its steady and danceable beats.

"FlashBlack" albumcover by Erik Pirolt who also did the cover for "Riot Break"

Other tracks like "Not Looking For Us" (--> goosebumps!!) and "Far Ahead" (--> watch here a live version of Far Ahead recorded by P3) mostly remind of the debutrecord. They are carried by guitar chords and bring Hanne's (and choir) voice into focus. "Sizzly" is of the same playful character as "The City" but could have very likely been released by POST [--> A pop-orchestra of four members including Hanne; they released their debut album "Common Rand Of People" in 2010; as far as I understood they're now focusing on writing their lyrics in Nynorsk instead of English, which is very cool; Nynorsk is cool].

Quite doubtless is "Carousel" the track that might leave the most impression to the listener. It's so full of engergy that it's difficult to stay seated while listening to it. It makes you dance, hop around and gets you into a good mood. Very suiting to it is the music video which just fully captured my heart. It was directed by Fred Arne Wergeland who also directed Kolstø's video to "The City" and POST's "Slow Song". Furthermore the video features drift champion Fredric Aasbø and was filmed at several locations in Norway. To me it's the best music video of the year. Best described in a way of: Hipster meets Bunad. 

All in all is FlashBlack a good follow-up to Riot Break and preview for Blue Anger (the record yet to come). It features more electronic elements than Riot Break and might require a few listenings to really grow on the music. But generally it's a good mix of soft tunes, playful chords and drums, thrilling beats and piercing Casio-sounds. Most recommended are the tracks: Pretty Veil, Carousel and The Scoop. And I would give the album a 5/6 rating.

FlashBlack was released on the 14th of September with Karmakosmetix Records. The album (even vinyl) can be bought via CDON.euPlatekompaniet or directly from Karmakosmetix Records and downloaded from several music stores. You can also listen to the album via Spotify and Wimp.

Get connected with Hanne Kolstø: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

1 comment:

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