Saints And Sebastian Stories (Lp)
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Format Details: Lp
Format Details: Lp
Hotly-tipped Norwegian newcomers Konradsen release their highly anticipated debut album 'Saints and Sebastian Stories'. Konradsen, the duo of vocalist and pianist Jenny Marie Sabel and multi-instrumentalist Eirik Vildgren, trace their roots to the far north of Norway, where the black night of winter is backlit by the neon glow of the Northern Lights. It's a fitting metaphor for the music the pair crafts - tradition meets innovation, and the natural world expressing its astral filament.
Inspired by the traditional songs and hymns Sabel sang with her family as a child, and the modern pop music she and Vildgren collectively admire - the work of Sufjan Stevens, Frank Ocean and composer Christophe Chassol, among others - debut album 'Saints and Sebastian Stories' weaves Sabel's soulful and transportive vocals with field recordings and samples of ambient sounds. These voices of past and present dance over minimalist piano, atmospheric electronics, programmed beats and organic horns, forming a delicate sonic narrative centered on family and community that reflects the arc of their musical journey.
The album contains 'Cosmic Kid Vibration' and 'Big Bruce,' which utilise larger snippets of voices from their friends and family. The latter is a recording taken from an old VHS tape belonging to Sabel's father. It depicts a family friend impersonating a televangelist, and bleeds into album highlight 'Television Land,' a gospel-flecked mediation that places Sabel's voice front and centre. "And the high will find us through them/Will find us through them," she sings over a chorus of voices, reflecting on these past and future bonds. Opener 'Never Say A' displays a touch of humour via child-like synths that accent Sabel's opening words, while 'Baby Hallelujah' is a simple, honest and stirring meditation on life and the great beyond, layered with samples of the voices of close friends.
Recorded with lauded Norwegian producer KÃ¥re Vestrheim at Propeller Recordings, and at Vildgren's home studio in Oslo, 'Saints and Sebastian Stories' is a tender and homespun thread between past and present elevating our underlying interconnectedness through a journey in friendship and quiet reflection.