Lyricist: Nanna Oland Fabricius.
Audio Mixers: Tore Nissen; Nanna Oland Fabricius.
Recording information: Apparat Studios, Christianshavn, DK; Brickwall Studios, Copenhagen, DK; Brorson Church, Copenhagen, DK; Nanna's Apartment, Brooklyn, NY; Random House, Lisbon, Portugal.
Photographers: Justin Tyler Close; Marcello Gomes.
Beguiling indie pop singer/songwriter Oh Land takes on a slightly darker tone with her fourth long-player, Earth Sick. Recorded almost entirely at home in her Brooklyn apartment, the Danish expat immerses herself in a set that is contemplative, warm, and occasionally moody, though still glowing with heavy doses of the charmingly frenetic Scandipop that made her previous albums such a fun ride. Standouts like the string-laden "Doubt My Legs" and "Hot 'n Bothered" show off her penchant for mixing rich orchestrations with glitchy pop. With their strong, hooky choruses and quirky rhythms, they're right in her wheelhouse. Similarly, "Flags" marches to Oh Land's particularly strange drum, percolating with intricate rhythms and idiosyncratic backing vocals that probably wouldn't work if the song wasn't so damned catchy. Taking a more lonesome tack, the title cut floats along on a bed of hazy synths with distinct echoes of Goldfrapp as she reaches sweetly into her upper vocal register. Opening ballad "Machine" has a similarly attractive lost-in-space feel, building into the first of Earth Sick's many memorable choruses. There are missteps as well, especially on overly busy tracks like "Favor Friends" and "Half Hero," where there aren't enough big hooks to save the songs from stuttering into disinterest. But even when her kitchen-sink approach doesn't quite favor the song, you have to give her credit for working so hard and sharing all of her crazy ideas, good and bad. Oh Land is a highly creative being with her own distinct voice, and the quality songs here certainly outweigh the stumbles. ~ Timothy Monger