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coverpic flag Norway - Full Moon 224 - 12/06/14

Hanne Kolstø
Forever Maybe
Jansen Plateproduksjon

Hanne Kolstø is called 'a musical trapeze artist'. Her label also say that '...she evolves, pulsates and lives to find what is true for herself, and she does so while balancing high above the circus ring. Her music exudes confidence, but the underlying uneasiness poses a constant threat to the comfort of the listener. You look up and keep your fingers crossed.' Her latest artistic back-flip summersault is Forever Maybe, her 4th album in four years! Every November for the last four years, Hanne Kolstø has released a new album. There is one more to go within her five-year plan, but I guess Kolstø will record and put out many more records over the years to come.

Her last album, 2013's Stillness And Panic (on the Jansen label as well. Her first two albums, 2011's Riot Break and 2012's FlashBack, were both released by Karmakosmetix Records) received rave reviews internationally, including The Guardian, The Sunday Times, Q magazine, to name but a few. Myself, I also really, really appreciated Stillness And Panic. As I did with the first single off this year's record, "We Don't See Ourselves". Due to Hanne Kolstø changing moods when it comes to angling music, label-boss Jansen states that: '...there are more doors open to different genres than before. However, there are still airy vocals, soaring under the canvas ceiling, and still it sounds like something coming directly out of nature. After all, that is where she belongs.'

Forever Maybe is good, groovy and melancholic, but it is not as good as Stillness.... Or maybe it is...or will become so...? The tension rose when the first single off the album was launched, "We Don't See Ourselves". This was indeed promising, in fact a very good pop song, leaving nothing but high hopes for the new album. When the new album came, it unveiled more of the catchy pop of Kolstø, often covered with this veil of comforting melancholia. "Blanko" kicks off, and gets the album started pretty fine. "We Don't See Ourselves" is the elegant and somewhat exotic pop music we knew that it was. The rest of the songs keep the steam, with dance-beat mixed with lyrical and melodically moments of darkness and tristesse. Everything works fine, and the style of Hanne Kolstø and the spirit of her songs/sound, makes everything sound real, raw and authentic.

There is a string of neat songs, such as the title track, "All Is Contagious", "Rooftop", and the closing track, "What Is This Meant To Mean". Forever Maybe is a solid album, but yet I prefer Stillness And Panic over this one.

Copyright © 2014 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Hanne Kolstø articles/reviews: Stillness And Panic, We Don't See Ourselves, While We Still Have Light.

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