“The first phrases of ‘Rainy Days Ahead’ came to me when I was spending time at our summer cottage,” says Kari Rueslåtten. It’s “an old, worn out farm house in mid-Norway. The place is surrounded by the wild landscape that area is known for: steep mountains going straight into the sea and beautiful open spaces of green in between.” Rueslåtten’s description is one that could apply to any number of the tracks on Time to Tell, her first studio album in nine years. She composed the album primarily by singing while at the piano, which allowed her to find the strongest melodies and arrangements possible: “If the verse and chorus works just accompanied by the piano, it will work with other arrangements in studio too.”
With winter now leaving the remnants of its thaw behind, “Rainy Days Ahead” is an all but appropriate song for the coming season. Like the ten other songs that make up Time to Tell, it’s a composition that has strains of melancholy that are bound together by Rueslåtten’s pristine voice. The song’s devotional mood is invitingly warm and mysterious at the same time; when she implores, “Can you feel my heart beating when you’re near?”, it’s easy to sense there’s a bigger story beneath the chorus’ simple words. From the expansive Norwegian locales she inhabits Rueslåtten has crafted a song—with a gorgeous visual component—that strikes an ideal balance between universality and intimacy. It’s a song that captures the feeling of the sun’s rays as they peek out from once overcast skies: forward-looking and optimistic, while also mindful of what has already past.
Time to Tell is out now via Despotz.
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong online. Please consider a donation to support our work as an independent publisher devoted to the arts and humanities. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where advertising no longer covers our costs. We need your help to keep PopMatters publishing. Thank you.