Joanna Tocher checks out Hanne Kolstø’s forthcoming album (released 19 January) and discovers a poppier sound than in her previous work, despite the sometimes gloomy themes.
Forever Maybe is Norwegian singer and multi-instrumentalist Hanne Kolstø’s fourth solo release and it’s a slightly poppier affair than her previous three excellent solo albums. This aspect has its good and its bad sides in that several of her more pop oriented tracks work very well and it’s interesting to see her experiment, but, for me, a few of the songs veer a little too close to mainstream pop.
Opening track ‘BlankO’, with its dark synths and refrain of “I don’t wanna feel anything, I don’t wanna think anything” sets the tone for an album with repeated references to solitude, leaving and moving on. At the 01:30 mark, the beat becomes a little more up-tempo and, as Kolstø’s wistful vocals glide over the music, the track achieves the paradox of being joyfully bleak. The occasional whoops that follow “Is it in me or outside” towards the end of the track could be euphoria, anguish or both. It’s a triumphant album opener.
The album continues with the more melancholy and dreamlike ‘Synnecrosis’ and, again, the theme is focused on the act of leaving. Kolstø sings the line: “I am leaving you ’cause I’m lost and found” almost breezily, as if leaving is an inevitability she has learned to cheerfully accept. However, as the song progresses, uncertainty creeps into the lyrics: “…and if I choose to stay behind, would you come look for me later?” As the song closes, the music falls away and the way Kolstø sings “I will never never never, never never ever be alone” sounds so assured, it seems like a threat…
Head and shoulders shot of a winking Hanne Kolstø in a black cap and off-the-shoulders black top made from T-shirt style cotton and black lace. She stands in front of a light blue wall, throwing a small shadow behind her neck area. Her right cheek is slightly puffed out by what appears to be a piece of orange behind her lips and in front of her teeth.
Publicity shot supplied by Prescription PR.