Henriette Sennenvaldt - ‘Very Fantastic’ (from album ‘Something Wonderful’)
It’s Thursday night and if the world has already got a little too much for you this week and you want to hideaway from everything and everyone, then I have the perfect musical escape for you.
Henriette Sennenvaldt is better known for previously being the lead vocalist in Danish outfit Under Byen, the experimental ‘rock’ band (somewhere between post rock and chamber music anyway) that released a stream of albums to critical acclaim in the earlier part of this century.
Pretty much all of Under Byen seem to have gone on to release music through their own projects and the latest is Henriette, who has explored the peripheries of jazz and pop in her new album ‘Something Wonderful’, which has just been released.
This is really something else. Under Byen always had this ability to write beautifully delicate minimalistic songs, but ‘Something Wonderful’ takes that all a few stages further, with a mesmerising set of tracks that really demands you shut the world away, pour a large glass of red (or black coffee), turn your music system up loud and allow yourself to be completely consumed by the extraordinary musical world she has created.
She’s been explaining more about the album, and in particular the single ‘Very Fantastic’ which has just been released.
“I consider it both lament and ode, a burial procession. It’s sort of a field recording – reporting on bombasticness, and overwhelmedness, and claustrophobia. And – like many songs of this album – it’s also about light and luminosity, the shimmering of in-between, disintegration, melting, union.”
Well there you go, that’s nice and clear. But just listen to ‘Very Fantastic’ and you’ll (sort of) see what she means. Straight for the start I was drawn right into her world, straining my ears to catch the precision of every sound. And then when the music opens up with the main musical melody just over a minute in, I feel my body relaxing and being swept away.
But somehow I can also hear that ‘shimmering of in-between’, because the soft textures she creates in the instrumentation are just lovely, just listen for the piano, bass, strings and brass - there’s not a wasted note or sound here, yet nothing is clearly defined.
Of course this may not be for everyone. If you just like loud guitars, I’m sure we find you some of that, but Henrietta Sennenvaldt musical world is very different, and I’m really looking forward to locking myself away with the album.