Anna von Hausswolff – “Ceremony” (2013)

Label: City Slang

Review by Luisa Mercier

I confess I never heard of this Swedish girl, architect turned singer songwriter. My bad indeed, since Northern Europe seems to provide the most talented and musically skilled women I ever heard. Anna is again different from the other singers I knew since her trademark is much darker and focused on organ, an instrument that a former gothic metaller like me can only love. This album opens with the instrumental track “Epitaph of Theodor”, a long, epic organ anthem that will fill your ears with melancholy and sorrow through cinematic arrangements and moments that would have been fit for a doom metal record. It is only when five minutes of the second song “Deathbed” have passed that we get to hear Anna vocals. Before there is a powerful organ, metal guitars, heavy arrangents. Her sweet vocals then chime in and soar over the organ music. From the first two titles, you might have guessed that there is a theme going on and yes, this album is very centered on death, loss, sorrow, so it is not a very light hearted one, Just a warning if you expect some funny indie-pop. Single “Mountain Crave” sounds quite refreshing if compared to the previous two songs, it is a more traditional indie-pop track with an accordingly catchy chorus, but it does not lose the dark edge of the whole album. With “Goodbye” we are back into a sorrowful, melancholic mood with Anna singing on a bed of organ pipes and it goes on with “Red Sun” in which Anna delivers a sultry vocal performance. “Epitaph of Daniel” is a sort of instrumental interlude marking the half of the album, leading to “Liturgy of Light”, an eerie song. “Harmonica” has more of an ethnic feeling with percussions; same for “Funeral for My Future Children” which has a more Eastern sounding sound mixed with some hints of country music. Very original. “Ceremony” is closed by “Sun Rise”, putting an end to magnificent work. Not for everyone taste, though.

Rating – 80/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Epitaph of Theodor
  2. Deathbed
  3. Mountain Crave
  4. Goodbye
  5. Red Sun
  6. Epitaph of Daniel
  7. No Body
  8. Liturgy of Light
  9. Harmonica
  10. Ocean
  11. Sova
  12. Funeral for My Future Children
  13. Sun Rise

 

Line Up

  • Anna Von Hausswolff – Vocals, organ
  • Maria von Hausswolff- Vocals
  • Karl Vento – Guitar
  • Daniel Ögren- Guitar
  • Joel Fabiansson – Guitar
  • Filip Leyman- Synths
  • Ulrik Ording -Drums

 

Links

Facebook * Site