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Great Doubt


Format: LP


Out of stock

Audiopile Review: Astrid Sonne, the Danish-born, London-based experimental composer, has deviated from the path of her prior three albums and landed with this extraordinary and idiosyncratic vision of pop music. While those previous albums (also new in stock this week) explored the textural collision between her eerie viola work, haunted choral smears and a battery of synths, they were closer in tone to Daniel Lopatin’s unsettling soundtrack work than what she’s summoned here. Eager to move onwards, Great Doubt is an assured and unexpected shift into more accessible songwriting territory that has quickly launched her into much wider recognition and well deserved accolades from all corners. With the occasional helping hand from Slauson Malone on guitar, Ben Vince on sax and her touring partner Emma Barnaby on cello, Sonne assembles an album that ably bends the worlds of trip-hop, chamber pop and R&B with her classically trained background, resulting in an evocative record that will keep you coming back to unearth its many secreted charms. However, the most intoxicating through line of this wildly varied album, and what will surely hook some of you out there, is the sleepy-eyed delivery of Sonne’s openly personal lyrics. Her soothing sweetness hovers just above the booming, stuttering drum breaks, quivering strings and stark synth pulses, a delicate and saccharine touch to soften the edges of her experimental production. Fans of Tirzah, Julia Holter and ML Buch (her recent tour mate and Danish compatriot) will absolutely flip for this one. Put money on this one to be appearing on year-end lists. Highest recommendation!! Edition of 250 on orange vinyl. Ordered direct from the label in Copenhagen.


“Great Doubt” is the third full length LP by Danish composer Astrid Sonne. Throughout her acclaimed discography, Astrid Sonne has been carefully crafting different moods through electronic and acoustic instrumental endeavours. On “Great Doubt” this skill is refined, now with the distinct addition of the composer’s own vocal in front. The tone of each track is unmistakably Sonne’s, structured around contrasts through an impeccable sense of timing. Lyrics on the album are sparse, merely highlighting different scenes or emotional states of being, leaving the music to fill in the blanks. Yet they also form a pattern of ambiguity, consolidated through the album title, searching for answers through looking at how and what you are asking, questions for the world, questions of love.

The viola, a trusted companion since Astrid Sonne’s youth, appears effortlessly throughout the album, fully integrated into the sonic universe; through a pizzicato driven arrangement in the poignant track “Almost” or along with booms and claps in mutated cinematic stabs during “Give my all”, paraphrasing Mariah Carey’s 1997 ballad. Yet the string section also gives way to explorations of woodwinds, counterbalancing the bowed movements with digital brass and airy flutes. Finally, beats and detuned piano are fresh additions to the soundscape, cementing how Sonne’s practice is always evolving into new territories.

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