- David Bentley
Memoria (Sweden) - ’Along the Sea' (single)
I believe Memoria (Tess de la Cour) is new to NMR but I’ve come across her previously, she’s representative of a darkwave, post-punk, Goth-like tradition in Sweden alongside artists such as Bonander and Promise and the Monster; all three of them, as I’ve said before, conspiring to seduce you with swoony, hypnotic, melodic electronic music, and with a hint of menace in both the melody and the vocals.
She has quite a history, playing drums in the Stockholm punk band Snake, and she was instrumental in putting the Swedish Riot Grrrl Sessions together in 2017 but has been focusing more on the Memoria project in the last three years.
She comes up with some quite remarkable videos, too. The last song of hers that I reviewed, the atmospheric ‘Cravings’, which was a cross between Anna von Hausswolff and Siouxsie and the Banshees, in October 2019, was supported by a truly scary video which clearly referenced the film The Blair Witch Project and in which, dressed in eagle-like headgear, she appeared to levitate over a lake. The video is worth watching just to see how much chilling imagery you can find in it – its chock full from beginning to end.
’Along the Sea’ is the first single from her forthcoming second album and is a song about loneliness and sadness; a longing to escape to better times, with the hope that people around you could see how you feel. For this one she has co-opted Nicklas Stenemo, of Swedish synth duo Kite and it is a departure from ‘Cravings’ and her first album, for which it was the title track, for sure.
Stenemo, who could be Sweden’s Andy Bell, has a fairly light voice in contrast to Memoria’s powerful tones so that she effectively takes the lead in a sort of gender vocal role-reversal if you see what I mean.
With opening bars and a repeating synth bass riff and clamorous percussion that could be straight out of the Erasure song book it has more pop than Goth or punk elements in it but Memoria still manages to create something powerful, intense, ageless even, and which haunts you long after it has concluded.
And the video is another cracker. Produced by Per Norman, who might also have been responsible for the ‘Cravings’ one, it is highly tasteful, evocative and imaginative, and brilliantly shot.
Another artist who really should have greater recognition here.