Over the last 10 years I have been following several Norwegian female singer songwriters careers, Susanna Wallumrød, Hanne Hukkelberg and more recently Susanne Sundfør & Jenny Hval - all very different from one another. And now I have another name to add to the list.
In the Spring 2013 an unknown 26 year old music student Emilie Nicolas from the suburbs of Oslo shared a handful of her self-produced songs on Soundcloud.With little background info and just one photograph and little self promotion, it showed that her songs needed no introduction. Word soon spread of her soaring powerful voice and mysterious and wistful lyrics. It was the cover of the song "Pstereo” by the Norwegian band Dumdum Boys that brought her to he attention of commercial radio. The song was made on the request from a local music festival in Trondheim and earned itself a nomination at the P3 Gull (Norwegian Broadcaster award) - she decided to perform the song in the English translation for live television.
Emilie’s second single was "Grown Up”, a vulnerable and melancholic song, and written as a tribute to her father. Her voice draws you in and shows her full range and builds to a sonic intensity that is so heartfelt and honest that it is impossible no to be won over by it.
"Pstereo” is in the genre of electro-pop and a much more upbeat version than the Dumdum Boys own piece.
The album "Like I’m A Warrior”, which has been out for a while in Norway, unveils a more uncompromising side showing and ever-increasing emotional delivery with dance floor beats.
"Nobody Knows”, a song of unrequited love, shows off her wonderful voice with sparse synths and lyrics like "and no-one said Emily, it will get stormy”. The album has contrasts that show her vulnerability and softer side. But with "Fail” a more reckless side is displayed, with heavy bass synth and electronic effects and a memorable line "Don’t call me lazy / I go down on him daily”. "Charge” again shows the more reckless side with heavy bass layers and sound effects. The aforementioned "Grown Up” - probably the best track on the album - appears to be very much a rite of passage. "Melancholia” opens spookily, telling of running through forest and finding solace as the sun goes down. "Us” is different again with ethereal vocals and wispy webs of synths.
"Like I’m A Warrior” is an album of huge warmth and feels like Emilie is very much in love.
Her music is the perfect soundtrack to introspection. Dreamy, but with one foot in reality, built from events in her life, but universally appealling, thanks to the humanity in her lyrics.
Not surprising that this is one of my albums of 2014 and very much looking forward to see this live in London in January.