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(Photo credit: Pål M. Laukli)

Following the release of her new album 'Lightshadow', Norwegian singer-songwriter Anne Marie Almedal has shared a new cover of The Cure's 'Lovesong'.

Growing up in the suburban bible-belt of southern Norway, bands like The Cure provided much salvation to the misfits of Anne Marie's generation, so it goes without saying that this cover was chosen with much diligence. Anne Marie's rendition of 'Lovesong' is stripped down to the bone with Nicholas Sillitoe’s piano-score sensibility and Alf Vaksdal's atmospheric guitar work and idiosyncratic electronics. Drummer Marius Trøan Hansen provides the downtempo minimalist percussion, whilst Anne Marie lays down her haunting vocals. 

Following her critically acclaimed trilogy of folk-pop albums and a 5-year break to focus on family and other priorities, Norwegian singer-songwriter Anne Marie Almedal has now released her new album ‘Lightshadow’.

Recorded in Anne Marie’s hometown Kristiansand in a summer break with producer/co-writer Nicholas (taking time off his busy award-winning soundtrack schedule), the new album features a vast range of estimable Norwegian guest musicians including new-found producer/multi-instrumentalist/studio expert Alf Vaksdal, the young and talented drummer Marius Trøan Hansen, star Norwegian jazz double bassist Ellen Andrea Wang, violinist Sebastian Grüchot and a string quartet made up with members of the Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra. The album was then mixed with producer Tim Bran (London Grammar/Halsey/Birdy) and went on to be mastered by Pete Maher (The Killers, The Pixies, Lana Del Ray). The result, a one-listen-and-you’re-hooked defining new direction for Anne Marie.

Somewhat destined to be the first track off Anne Marie Almedal’s new album ‘Lightshadow’, lead single ‘You Keep Me At Arm’s Length’ arrives with just Anne Marie’s commanding vocals and Nicholas Sillitoe’s wistful folk guitar accompaniment, a brooding piano and synth bass slowly adding momentum. But it’s at the beginning of verse two, where we are suddenly propelled into the new ‘Lightshadow’ world of Anne Marie Almedal. Melancholy as ever, unmistakeably bittersweet, focused and full of longing, it’s here and now that Anne Marie sets about to prove herself with a bold new blend of folk, electronics, indie-dream-pop and nonchalant vocals.

Elsewhere, tracks such as ‘Travelling’ nod towards Kate Bush and George Harrison with an emphasis on Anne Marie’s vocals, Nicholas’s intimate piano work and Ellen Andrea Wang’s ruminating double bass. Whilst ‘My Dream Will Never End’ leans towards Anne Marie’s heavier folk sensibilities with references to the vast Norwegian wilderness, implemented in a pensive yet delicate manner that calls to mind the soft delivery of Vashti Bunyan.

‘Lightshadow’ is as diverse as it is evolutionary for Anne Marie. Her new album displays a blissfully original and sonically divergent take on what alt-folk music can sound like when restrictions, formulas, and self-consciousness are thrown out of the window. It may come 5 years after her last release, but shows that more often than not, the best things are worth waiting for.

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