Who | Anna Von Hausswolff
When | December 6
Where | Sophiensäle, Berlin
Swedish musician Anna Von Hausswolff is a self described funeral pop goddess (as anyone with a name like that should be), though pop is likely to be the last thing that comes to your mind upon listening to her. Hailing from the sole Scandinavian country that’s known for actually producing cheery music, Hausswolff clearly missed the memo: her’s is the kind of beautiful, uncanny sound that will haunt your dreams. She refuses to skirt around the subject of mortality, but chooses instead to tackle it head on, her sweet-yet-slightly-shrill voice and booming organ playing setting the stage perfectly.
However, while her first two albums–2010’s Singing from the Grave and 2013’s Ceremony–sunk listeners deep into a depression (I mean, with titles like ‘Singing from the Grave’ and ‘Funeral For My Future Children’, it was unavoidable, really), Hausswolff‘s latest LP finds her at her most hopeful. Released just last month, The Miraculous is an exploration of the imagination of childhood, and the magic that results. This shift in mentality is audible, as she relies less heavily on the darkness of the pipe organ, instead incorporating ethereal, post-rock style guitar builds and tribal percussive elements that evoke a sense of adventure. As we all know, though, the fanciful world experienced through the lens of a child’s mind is not devoid of doom and gloom. Hausswolff uses incidental background noise to create the illusion that this mystical place we’ve been transported to is constantly shrouded in a disconcerting fog. There’s an air of theatrics to this album–akin to The Decemberists’s doomed love story concept piece, Hazards of Love–that holds the seeds of an powerful and engrossing live performance.
For fans of: Soléy, Kate Bush