We’ve covered quite a few cross-genre songs in the last week or so but I was astonished (I think that’s a reasonable word) to receive a communication from Moonfish Manifest (Signe Marie Svennum) who claims her music “erases the borders between dream pop, classical composition and jazz in an organic soundscape of acoustic instruments.”
Dream pop, classical and jazz? I had to check that out.
Well, there isn’t much evidence of jazz in her debut single ‘Water Palace’ but there is an undeniable classical basis, provided by piano, playful flute, viola, and some heavy duty cello that might have been borrowed from a Bach sonata, along with a full string backing in parts.
That would have been quite pleasant to listen to it on its own especially the flute parts which remind me of how Gabriel used to play the instrument on early Genesis songs; flittingly and hauntingly.
But it’s only part of the story because woven into it is a delightful little alt-pop song with a strong hook too.
My only concern is an instrumental flute bridge that perhaps goes on a little too long and wanders off away from the thread of the short song but otherwise ‘Water Palace’ won me over straight away.
There’s much I could say about it. Signe Marie’s vocal – and the arrangement as well for that matter – immediately brought to mind Swedish eco-warrior Resmiranda and her dreamy works.
The song is set in Indonesia and the search for the old water palace in the city of Yogyakarta (which is a real place and with its own story) and is inspired by traditional Indonesian gamelan music which hangs on multiple percussive effects. You can hear the gamelan straight away in the opening piano piece but there is hardly any percussion so a great deal of transitioning must have gone on.
At the same time that story might also be a metaphor for “travelling with intuition as your map” as she hints on social media.
Other musical forms that play a part in her compositions are Bulgarian and western choir music but as I know next to nothing about Bulgarian choir music I couldn’t even speculate if it makes an appearance here. Bulgarian throat singing I have experienced but I guarantee there’s none of that.
I wish I had the lyrics as I’d like to know who or what ‘Georgia’ is. Not the country, surely. You’d have to have zero intuition to mistake Indonesia for Georgia.
Then, as she says, “This is not a love song but a song to get lost to.”
Vocal, piano, composition: Signe Marie Svennum
Flute: Sofia Kayaya
Viola: Pauline Hogstrand
Cello: Nicole Hogstrand.
‘Water Palace’ was released on 24th February 2023 across digital platforms.
The EP ‘Reflective Foams’ will be released on 19th May 2023. The record is supported by Danish Conductors Association and Gramex Funds.
A release concert will follow on 9th June at Christianshaven Beboerhus.
Find her on:
Instagram: Moonfish Manifest.