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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

44.1 kHz Archive

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Stina Nordenstam
The World Is Saved
A Walk In The Park

If there's one word that's a constant in descriptions of Swedish songsmith Stina Nordenstam, it's "mysterious." Like the love interest in a Haruki Murakami novel, Nordenstam is an enigmatic figure: a slightly distant, yet mercifully mercurial, girl-with-the-curl, whose strange ways and irrepressible girlishness combine to make her a figure onto which sentimental boys can project all of their romanticism. Mystery, here, is not frightening, but alluring; and Nordenstam's singing voice — a songbird's warble delivered in the breathiest whispers — is the sort of instrument that can lure listeners into song worlds approximating their subconscious, her lilting lullabies blessed with the narcotic qualities of sleep. And, perchance to dream, all dreams of Stina on these shores (Australia), of recent, have been of being able to find her records in stores; The World Is Saved, Nordenstam's sixth album, is the first to find release in Australia since her third album, 1995's Dynamite. In the years since, Stina's spun a covers-record turn worthy of Chan Marshall on 1998's People Are Strange (where she did Prince, Tim Hardin, and Leonard Cohen, amongst others), and reintroduced — with a "reinvention" playfully toying with the public identity of artistry (Nordenstam's willful non-celebrity and tendency to rise above the music biz adding to the air of "mystery," surely) — herself on 2002's This Is Stina Nordenstam. Again, with The World Is Saved, we're assured that this is the real Stina; this is the first record for her own, newly-established record-label, the product of newfound artistic freedoms, liberation that has let her let her guard down for the first time in her career. But, of course, even if the music seems intently intimate, Nordenstam remains at a distance, singing about being behind glass, about isolation, about being a foreigner in a foreign country, about endlessly falling, and about metamorphosing into a butterfly. If this Kafkaesque anguish is symbolizing some nightmarish descent into the alienation of the modern world, Nordenstam herself is the balm to such salty sentiment, keeping proceedings, here, particularly playful. With the sparse programming of Lucky People Centre's David Österberg dressed in delicate dangles of guitar, warm gurgles of analog organs, and breathy exhalations of French horn, the set is a delicate collection of simple, tasteful tunes in which Stina's stunning singing takes center stage; and her girlish murmurs continue to remain at a distance in only a teasing sort of way, the way the disc plays out seeming like she's playing her favorite game.

by Anthony Carew

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