If Hanne Kolstø looks a little sleepy on the cover of While We Still Have Light, it’s probably because this is her fifth album in as many years. But she doesn’t sound tired, which is damn impressive, since the new record definitely puts her through her paces.
Tied together by some stunning vocal performances (fans of Cat Power will probably get along with this) it’s a diverse set of songs, sounding one moment like the trippy side of trip-hop, balanced by bands like Massive Attack, and at another channelling synth-pop bands like Chvrches. There are also some bare bones interludes, where the sound is stripped the sound right down to vocals, strings, and sparse piano.
There’s a vast array of sounds thrown into the mix, including a surprisingly fitting sax solo on the final track. The drums in particular deserve a special mention; they’re so huge and reverby that they only finish decaying about five hours after the album has ended. At times they’re as off-kilter as they are in some of Björk’s compositions, and this cool skittishness (combined with some odd-but-catchy time signatures) make it a complex but uplifting listen.
Kolstø is obviously due a well-earned rest after starting and completing a five year plan whose ambitiousness probably hasn’t been seen since the days of the Soviet Union, but Chickens are Dinosaurs sincerely hope she’ll be back in the not-too-distant future with yet another fine album.
Hanne Kolstø’s While We Still Have Light is set for release December 18th 2015 (Jansen Plateproduksjon). Get yours here