It’ a funny thing the English language, isn’t it? When I read the press release email that Toril Snyen sent me I couldn’t understand this line at first – “I am so happy to say that today we release our single So do I.”
I thought she’d got her proverbial knickers in a twist or was speaking in Irish. Eventually I twigged that’s the title of the track, ‘So do I’. But the mystery doesn’t stop there. This is the third time I’ve reviewed Toril in the last couple of years, either under this artist moniker or as ‘Sny.’
The first time around, as Sny, her song was up-tempo electro pop, then as Toril it was soft rock with a 1960s feel to it.
I shouldn’t have been surprised at the diversity on offer because you don’t have to dig deep into her background to discover that she’s been a jazz vocalist, a classical pianist and was once in a doom metal band.
Is there anything she can’t do? The answer has to be no.
I’m not sure quite how to describe this offering. In her own words she synthesises it down (pardon the pun) to “the result is a synth based, electronic dance music with dark undertones.”
Neither am I sure exactly what her relationship is to Nattefrost. It seems that it is a cooperation that has already released a number of singles and will do the same with an album, ‘Desolation’ , this year.
Nattefrost incidentally is the vastly experienced multi-album electronic artist Bjørn Jeppesen, not Roger Rasmussen the Norwegian musician, vocalist and a founding member of black metal band Carpathian Forest. ‘Night frosts’ seem to be popular in Scandinavia and solving that little riddle took me on a tour of it.
He specialises in ‘contemporary electronic music with vintage elements”.
So the foundation was laid for an electro pop track but ‘dark undertones?’
It starts off with what could be the soundtrack to a Pixar movie. Think ‘Wall-E’ for example. Then a voice randomly speaks in tongues, but fortunately not for long. I don’t think I could handle much of that.
Thereafter we’re quickly into some industrial club music, over which Toril’s quite dainty poppish vocal sounds both incongruous and appealing; a little like Big Brother’s in ‘1984’, willing the proletariat on to a hate-speak crescendo.
The other thing that occurred to me is that, the industrial beat apart, the song has, to this point, some similarities with the silky smooth style of Stella Explorer, whom we featured last week, with a slightly trip hop feel.
Then, half way through the six-minute track, the tempo gears up and a thick atmosphere descends. The beat splits up into many variations and flies up to the ceiling while Keith Emerson appears on synthesiser playing something out of ‘Tarkus.’
No, I’m not smoking anything; that’s the effect it might have on you though.
My only complaint is that it could and perhaps should have gone on longer, that tempo continuing for another half minute or so to a natural climax. Instead there’s a sort of contrived explosion-cum-power out ending which is fit for purpose but that’s all.
Unless, of course, I’ve missed the point.
I still haven’t fathomed the dark undertones suggestion, at least not from the lyrics. But musically..?
Well, I often mention Berlin’s Berghain whenever there is atmospheric electronic music in play although I’ve never been there (and they wouldn’t let ‘Pops’ in, anyway).
This little piece would fit its mood and surroundings like a glove.
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