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coverpic flag Norway - Full Moon 229 - 05/04/15

Sea Change
Breakage
Karmakosmetix Music

From her Berlin location Norwegian Ellen A.W. Sunde has boosted her project Sea Change for a few years. Her single charmed me "Let's Dance", and I got to see Sea Change when they performed live during last year's Øyafestivalen. When performing live, Sea Change is a three-piece including Hilmar B. Larsen (from Det är jäg som er Döden) and Jakob Jones (from While You Slept) on synth, guitar and drum loop rhythm patterns. Their performance was cool, but playing outdoors on a warm, sunbathed summer's afternoon is just not the right setting for Sea Change's ice cool expression.

Sea Change create electronic, ambient dream pop for the modern age. Named after a Beck album, and naming artists like PJ Harvey, Arthur Russell, Sandra Kolstad, Fever Ray, Oren Ambarchi, and Talk Talk among her influences, Ellen Sunde for sure is ambitious with her project, aiming for something different. Two of her first singles, "Bursting" and "Bridges" did not make it to her debut album, but "Let's Dance" did. Further, the album holds two more singles, "Above" and "Squares", but these are not released on vinyl - like "Bursting" and "Let's Dance" were. According to her Facebook site, Sunde was born with 'a natural fascination for noise, improvisation music, tiny acoustic instruments and synth pop.' She has acquired a taste for melody and hooks as well, and there is for sure an edge to her music. Her songs buzz, howl, snap, crackle and pop. They twist and twirl through some icy landscapes. Or icescapades. There is a certain chill and coolness to her songs and Sea Change operate within quite cool breezes and in tempered waters. The songs of Breakage is done with grace and elegance. "Squares" is a bouncy, catchy piece - as a single should be like - while some of her other tracks stretch out in length, or running time. Especially the second half of the album, with the dramatic troika of songs: "Fearless", "Stairs" and "Knives". Plus the epic closing track "Raan", which clocks in at almost 8 minutes. It is a stellar, maybe an interstellar song.

Sea Change unveils and presents a solid debut album, with a frosty bite as well as a warm, pounding heart. Breakage is an impressive first album. Like it's been described, the album holds: 'Futuristic whirlwind of emotion' (DIY); 'Divinely spectral sounds' (Clash Magazine); 'Emotion recollected in devastating tranquility' (The Guardian); and 'Cascading electronics & uplifting loops' (Drowned In Sound). Yes, here are plenty of emotions and here is motion all over and over and over... This is not the last we hear from Sea Change. Until then, Sunde is maintaining her cool. Quite easily.

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You may also want to check out our Sea Change article/review: Let's Dance.

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