There's something about Scandinavia that inspires adventurous musicians, from classical composers like Edvard Grieg, Carl Nielsen and Jean Sibelius, to contemporary electronic artists, from Royksopp to Bjork to Swedish House Mafia (not to mention Norwegian black metal!). Norwegian multi-instrumentalist Farao, whose debut album Till It's All Forgotten is now available, fits firmly in this tradition, precisely by breaking with tradition.
Much of the album is built around an electronic backdrop, like with the throbbing pulse of "Anchor" or the percolating synths on "The Hours," but her songs are never beholden to them. Echoes of Stereolab's twisty rhythms are dusted throughout, but the heart of the songs are the melodies that harken back to an era before simplistic hooks became de rigueur. Farao uses guitars, piano and horns to great effect, as well as her own girlish vocals, to offer up a sophisticated pop record that, like predecessors like Kate Bush & tUnE-yArDs, begins a whole new tradition to inspire future artists.
-Eric J. Lawrence
- Are You Real?