‘Undersea’ is the third studio album by singer-songwriter Ida Wenøe, arriving via Songcrafter Music on 6th October 2023 on digital and vinyl.
It follows the albums ‘Time of Ghosts’ (2015) and ‘The Things We Don’t Know Yet’ (2019), the latter of which is playing constantly in my car right now.
“’Undersea’ is an album about all those emotions your try to bury deep, that always find their way to the surface whether you like it or not. I wrote these songs in solitude with just the ocean for company. The sea can be peaceful; it can be wild and turbulent. It can stir up trouble, it can kill you, and it can save you, calm you, wash you clean or swallow you up. Though often filled with mystery and darkness, when the light hits its surface it can be the most golden thing existing.”
You know, I think she should think seriously about having a crack at poetry. That statement is tremendously evocative, isn’t it?
The album was written and recorded in two old summer houses on the west coast of Jutland, and it sees her return to the hushed, simple intimacy of her debut LP ‘Time of Ghosts’, with nature, wild water and the range of human emotion all lyrically taking centre stage.
I’ve had to find a sample track pretty smartish tonight and we’ve already featured ‘With the wind’, the second one. ‘Mourning time’ appealed to me straight away for several reasons. Firstly, for the play on words. I remember going to see a play called Mourning TV once, which was a similar skit; in that case on the crap you get on the telly before noon.
But all is not what it seems. Actually she uses the word as the gerund of the verb to mourn rather than as a noun mimicking morning, as in the opening line “can I stop mourning time that went by.” That’s clever. Damn clever. And puts a new spin on her ‘folk noir’ tendency.
It seems her mourning is for the time she’s lost – and anticipates losing in the future – by not loving someone. If so, the ‘shadow’ she invites to “leave me tonight” is the person she will never date and her conclusion is that she’ll be “fine on my own this time” as if she had a choice in the matter.
Don’t be a spinster, Ida, there’s plenty of fish in that ocean.
Secondly, for the atmosphere she produces every time and certainly does here. Its right up in the Kate Bush class (without any reference at all to Ms Bush’s music I might add, as the world and his dog is supposed to sound like her these days).
Thirdly, for the ever so appropriate sound effects at the beginning and end, a waterfall expanded into a full blown Storm 9 gale.
Fourthly for daring to introduce a flute as the means of delivering the bridge (provided by Samantha Whates, with whom she has worked previously) and which continues to support the verse afterwards so subtly.
But mainly, again, for her vocal clarity, diction, and the plain sweetness of her singing. I’d love to hear it live.
Ida Wenøe seriously is the complete package today and I know what’s going to be occupying the car’s stereo for the next few months.
The album was produced by Ida, mixed by Dennis Ahlgren and mastered by Iceland’s Sigurdor Gudmundsson.
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