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Susanna (Norway): Triangle [Digipak] *

Track List

>We Don't Belong
>Texture Within
>Fear and Terror
>Before the Altar
>Under Water
>For My Sins
>Burning Sea
>In the Need of a Shepherd
>Born Again
>Ebb and Flow
>Fire, The
>Sacred Revolution
>Death Hanging
>In My Blood

Album Reviews:

Pitchfork (Website) - "Norwegian singer-songwriter Susanna Wallumrod returns with a grim and often stirring extended meditation on religion and mortality."

Album Notes

Personnel: Susanna (vocals, autoharp, piano, keyboards, programming, sampler).

Audio Mixer: George Tandero.

Recording information: Audio Virus Lab; Camle Logen; Emanuel Vigeland Mausoleum; Engfelt Forsgren Studio; Henie Onstad Arts Centre; Lemoyne St., Los Angeles; Oslo; SISU Rehearsal Space; Sonata Studios; Uranienborg Church.

Arranger: Susanna .

Susanna has always been a remarkably versatile artist, mixing jazz, electronic, pop, and avant-garde music in inspired combinations many other performers would never attempt. She brings a little of everything she's done in the past to Triangle, uniting those disparate creative strands as she explores spirituality and superstition. Susanna composed, arranged, produced, and recorded the album on her own in Oslo and Los Angeles, and the album's 22 songs are as distinct as they are impressionistic. Like diary entries or pieces in a mosaic, each track stands on its own as it contributes to Triangle's overall power. As Susanna combines singer/songwriter intimacy with experimental sounds, she delivers some of her prettiest music, whether on "Texture Within" -- which could almost pass for a piece of Laurel Canyon pop if it weren't for lyrics like "dark water running in my blood" -- or "Hole," a crisis of faith set to gorgeous electro-pop. As the album unfolds, it becomes clear that in Triangle's world, states of being that seem like dualities are actually cycles, and Susanna's voice plays just as big a part in expressing this as the arrangements surrounding it. With the help of some distortion, she sounds as fearsome as a goddess or angel on "This/Phenomena" and downright frail on "Decomposing," where she asks, "Will my soul decompose in the water?" Elsewhere, she entwines sensuality and spirituality, and past and future, until they're virtually one and the same: "Born Again" moves from fresh to sultry, while "Shepherd" introduces an ancient-sounding theme that "In the Need of a Shepherd" revisits with a more contemporary approach. It almost feels like Susanna reinvents herself on each of Triangle's tracks, and it takes a while to piece together the album's musical through-lines. Still, these glimpses make it more immersive than a work that builds to a more typical climax -- and songs such as the ritualistic "Burning Sea" and the tenderly torchy "Death Hanging" show that the album's spine-tingling beauty and intensity come in many forms. In some ways, this feels like the album Susanna's career has been building toward; her music has always united the heart and mind, and she does so with striking creativity on Triangle. ~ Heather Phares


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