David's Angels: What It Seems (2013)
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The Swedish quartet Davids Angels has proven in its debut release, Substar (Kopasetic, 2010), its ability to encompass emotionally charged issues with expressive, storytelling musical articulations. The sophomore release puts this approach in a more demanding test. What It Seems chronicles the demise of a meaningful love affair and its protagonist, singer-songwriter Sofie Norling making the peace process with its emotional implications the feeling of betrayal, loneliness, anger but also the needed sense of liberation.
Norling's songs contrast her soulful, melodic delivery with their honest yet brutal content, emphasized with the dark sounds produced by the keyboards of Maggi Olin. Olin usage of distorted, electronic sounds of the Fender Rhodes is often more suggestive of the dramatic emotional distress than the angelic vocals of Norling. Bassist David Carlsson and drummer Michala Østergaard-Nielsen gently frame the emotional substance of these songs.
Norling most convincing declaration of independences are delivered in the songs "Rid Of You" "When It starts." On "Rid Of you" her vocals expose the spectrum of her emotions, from the fragile to the angry, distant and the vain. The funky-soul reciting of the lyrics is concluded with distorted, rock steady beats. "When It Starts" is a play on a waltz theme, but this time the singer-protagonist realizes that she prefers to dance alone.
After establishing her independent statue Norling allows herself to express a fleeting regret over the loss of its lover on the songs "Sailors" and "Visions." She contemplates on "Sailor" the thought of surrendering to the stream of events, reuniting with her partner, and believes that "the sea will lead our way" and on "Visions" she reminiscences fondly her partners significant role in her emotional world.
David's Angels expresses beautifully one of the most tasking experiences in any one's life, in an honest, brutal but finally a comforting manner.
Track Listing: What It Seems; Rid Of You; Differences (Too Fast, Meaning, Learning); When it Starts; Magica; Go; Risking Hearts; Sailors; Visions; Differences (Rising, Standing Up, Making).
Personnel: Sofie Norling: vocals; Maggi Olin: Rhodes, piano; David Carlsson: bass, additional drums (2); Michala Østergaard-Nielsen: drums, percussion; Torben Walorff: guitar, melodica (4).
Record Label: Kopasetic Productions
Style: Beyond Jazz