Nordic Music Central Viking Hero

Weekend Intermission – Imber (Italy) – Fallen Angel (single)

Weekend Intermission is our regular feature where we look at an artist or band not from the Nordic countries, just to mix things up a bit.

We are making a little tour of southern Europe in this Weekend Intermission section recently, having visited Portugal last time out and now we are in northern Italy, in Venice to be precise, the home of Imber (Cecilia Nicolè).

I’ve never been there but I’ve written about its tourism problems several times lately and I’ve seen the film ‘Don’t’ Look Now’ (of course I don’t look when Donald and Julie are getting it off) often enough to know by now what it looks like, with its canals, bridges, gondolas, churches, and squares, it’s abundance of those tourists, and the feeling you get that every piece of art ever conjured up was painted there.

There are few places like it. I read this weekend that they are going to reintroduce water taxis onto the River Irwell and the various canals around Manchester and Salford in an attempt (get this) give it a Venice-like makeover. C’mon now…

I don’t know if there is a ‘Venice sound’ in Italy but Imber should be it.

The song, her second single, concerns “a once-hopeful friendship that shatters into tiny pieces.”

She adds, “As if it were a tale, the narrator is a court jester who reminisces on the past telling the story of how his entertainment was once highly appreciated, still now he feels useless and lost.”

That is sort of Shakespearean, isn’t it, and of course the Bard set quite a few of his plays in Italy, including two – The Merchant of Venice and Othello – in Venice.

“I played the part of the Buffoon once, my dear; and every move you knew by heart”, she introduces the song with and that has the lyrical opening line sophistication I’d expect from a Carole King.

Indeed sophistication oozes out of it from start to finish in the way its presentation fluctuates from the gravitas of the opening ballad to the jauntier mid section which is played with the swagger you’d expect from a jester, to the heavily orchestrated and melodramatic outro.

Vocally, Imber holds the full set of cards. Fundamentally alto, she easily moves into soprano range and knows how to use little tricks like vibrato and melisma subtly, so they add value but equally you barely notice them.

For our Nordic readers, and while she is influenced by James Blake, Tori Amos and Norway’s Aurora, she does remind me a little of Marte Eberson, in the composition, arrangement and performance of the song.

I don’t know a great deal about Imber, her social media presence is moderate, but it appears she is a graduate of the Leeds Conservatoire, just up the M62 from here. Nice one, Leeds.

Considering this is only her second song I detect genuine talent here.

Find her on:

Facebook: (private account)


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