I’m fortunate to hear some very good music coming out of the Nordics virtually every day – I can recommend every artist or band in this blog – but occasionally I get to hear something else; a song with that je ne sais quoi, the one you’re wondering why you haven’t heard it on the radio yet.
Before I say any more about Siri Neel’s ‘Disappear’ (not to be confused with Antsy’s ‘Disappearer’ from the other day), a little about the artist.
Siri Neel describes herself as an independent Danish singer and songwriter, an ‘upcoming’ (I think she means up and coming) artist, and a mother of two who just quit her job because she wants to focus all her energy on music and her debut album. I’m sure there’s money in the bank or alternative short term income; Siri doesn’t come across as reckless to me!
She has quite a few credits on her CV including three previous singles played on Danish national radio, she was nominated for artist of the year by Danish independent labels and was identified as being one of ‘the 100 artists to watch in Europe.’
My heart sank when I read that the radio stations have been comparing her to Kate Bush. Bexleyheath’s finest must be the most channeled artist of all time and I’ve heard some so-called Bush soundalikes who were more like what I’d expect her dad to sound like.
But here’s the thing. She actually does mimic Bush extremely well (mimic is probably the wrong word; I’m not saying she does it deliberately).
She has benefitted from living for several years in the UK, in Brighton, where she was a graduate of the BIMM branch (the first time I’ve had such a graduate in NMC), and where she met UK producer Mark Flannery.
She says she wrote this song “as a reminder to everyone that we are all capable of being strong and confront our fears – especially in a world of uncertainty.” So the disappearing isn’t being done by her but by her trepidations.
“I just want to live my life/without being terrified” she bewails.
I’m easily won over by the opening bars of a song if they resonate with me and that is exactly what happened here.
That repeating piano note (and it persists insidiously throughout the song as a single note and a chord) is so similar to the one in Choir of Young Believers’ ‘Hollow Talk’, possibly the best known Danish song in the UK on account of ‘The Bridge’, and instantly evocative. Its persistence is steadfastly suggestive of how fear clings.
But it is subjugated after the ethereal bridge by an army of synthesisers charging to the rescue. As Blackadder used to say, “I pour ice cubes down the vest of fear.”
‘Disappear’ is a powerful melodic song, expertly sung and delivered.
If I was going to be picky I would say that one element missing from it is any indication of victory in the outro; of having actually conquered the fear. The ‘big ending’ if you like.
But that’s a minor grumble. It is an excellent effort which I am sure will get attention here in the UK.
(And I decline to take the cheap option of saying I’ll ‘ask Siri’ about it!)
Siri Neel is currently working towards her debut album in collaborations with different producers and songwriters based in Denmark, Sweden and the Britain.
Find her on:
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