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Rebekka Karijord
Nobel Art Of Letting Go Rich Hughes , February 16th, 2011 05:08

You could probably stock a not inconsiderable shop with wall-to-wall records from earnest, fragile and beautiful albums made by artists of Rebekka Karijord's ilk. Yet where she succeeds and stands out from the crowd is through the tightly focussed songwriting present on her understated yet absorbing debut album Noble Art of Letting Go, finally getting a full release in the UK after gracing the shelves of her native Sweden back in 2009.

First track 'Wear It Like a Crown', a combination of piano and Karijord's crystalline vocal, makes it abundantly clear from the off that this is an exceptionally sparse and fragile piece of work. It instantly brings to mind the early albums of Tori Amos and the intricately executed works of Kate Bush. But this is much more than a mere reverential carbon copy. These tales of love, loss and ardour seem to suit the current climate - that darkness on the fringes of everyday life. It encapsulates that sense that everything could soon come crashing down around your ears, and the only thing keeping it at bay is your hope that better days lie ahead.

'Paperboy' begins with the verse "You went from being him to being you, that night when you told me the truth, you hid your face inside your hands and cried, and told me that you once wanted to die". With lyrics as intense as these, it'd be easy to fall back on a simple and straightforward music delivery. Luckily, Karijord has resisted this temptation, creating a nicely evocative and peculiar sound, and those hints of Bush and Amos come through even more as the record continues. The agonised rhythms and peaky strings add to the general feel of uneasiness, especially on songs like 'This Anarchistic Heart' and the title track where the sheer bleakness of it can resonate for days. What sets Karijord apart from so many of her contemporaries is this honest, open and at times startlingly raw subject matter of her songs, and more interesting musical avenues explored. She hasn't just lazily bashed out some heart-felt nonsense over some sixth form common room sounds beloved of the common-or-garden singer songwriter. Noble Art of Letting Go is an album well worth seeking out, and then holding close.

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