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Silje Nes

Ames Room

(FatCat; US: 11 Mar 2008; UK: 3 Dec 2007)

With ProTools and Logic setups getting cheaper by the second, more and more people are forgoing professional studios and taking their recording destiny into their own hands. Thus, the debut album from Norway’s Silje Nes is compiled from a couple years worth of home recordings, and that comfortable atmosphere translates clearly into these wistful, whimsical hybrids of lo-fi electronica and singer-songwriter musings. Imagine Tujiko Noriko crashing on Juana Molina’s couch. Nes has a wonderfully sweet voice, and uses it to great effect. She is happy to purr diary clippings or merely coo docile tones if the mood takes her. Instrumentally, she employs a lot of tape manipulation, samples, and oft-twittering synthetic effects, while her guitar strums simple, downplayed melodies. When she brings in drums, they sound like they’re in a basement washroom, which totally works in her aesthetic. Furthermore to that, her compositions are fleshed out by a series of band class faves like the xylophone and recorder. It ain’t awe-inspiring or revolutionary, per say, but there’s no reason she shouldn’t be as big as Juana in a few albums. It’s simply lovely stuff.

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Author of blurbs, curator of playlists, and booker of shows, Alan Ranta has been plugging away at that music writing and programming thing since 2004. His brutally honest critical opinion has appeared in such publications as Exclaim!, CBC Music, PopMatters and Tiny Mix Tapes, and has been enlisted to help judge the Polaris Music Prize, Pazz & Jop, and Juno Awards. Based in East Van, he graduated with a BFA in music from Simon Fraser University in 2012. He's also a social media plague, cat whisperer, socio-political haranguer, Canucks fan, and one of the last remaining cowboys, with a butt that won't quit.


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4 Nov 2010
Beware of the quiet ones: this precious recording from multi-instrumentalist Silje Nes will get you when you're vulnerable, but there isn't much beyond that breathy Nordic coo.
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