March 2015 saw the release of multi-talented, Norwegian Indie scene stalwart, Anne Lise Frøkedal’s single, ‘I See You’ – a nice country-oriented, chillaxed, acoustic song. With its solid hooks, layers of especially lovely vocal harmonies, and some nice adept guitar playing, it was all very inviting. So far, so good, so folk.
This live version with the wonderful violin playing is particularly good.
May 2015 – along came delightfully quirky ‘Surfers’, as full of humanity and personality as it’s video counterpart (Note the “Twin Peaks” tongue-cherry stem-knot tying trick at the beginning). It was a stunningly performed song, with a lot of emotion underneath its wings, and a lyric that “describes feeling stuck and alone, trying to balance unfulfilled expectations with holding on to your dreams”. Anne Lise Frøkedal, you got that down pat girl!
October 2015 and oh my word, what a seismic shift there has been with the arrival of ‘First Friend’ and it’s tragi-eerie love story meets hammer horror video. Gone is the wholesome acoustic folk sound, sidelined the good-natured indie. In steps forbidden darkness. Frøkedal’s voice has shifted from sweet n lite, to having a beautiful if haunting fragility. Gothic electronica with a brooding thrum, moody bass and some stark drumming create a foreboding atmosphere, and with its flashes of psychotic synth and electronic pulses & beats, ‘First Friend’ is a track that could sit comfortably on a Sundfor album.
It’s an eerily portentous track, the impending gloom of which is magnified by a rather disturbing video. Intense and forlorn, it makes for both uncomfortable and heartbreaking listening/watching, as it conveys the self-consuming insecurities and self-doubts which society has brought upon itself, with its unquestionable acceptance of “disposable love”.
Taken individually one couldn’t be faulted for assuming these three songs were in fact by three different artists. However, put in the context of the EP, ‘I See You’, they follow a logical journey. Frøkedal has interconnected four* different tales and presented them using four different styles. Combining honest folksiness, indie earthiness and dark electronic pop, she has created a fascinating and enticing collection of musical short stories.
Frøkedal’s ‘I See You’ EP is out now via Propeller Recordings. Her new album is scheduled for release in 2016 (date tbc)
*The EP consists of Surfers, I See You, Silhouettes, and First Friend. Silhouettes is not featured here.