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Susanna: Triangle

Strange, beautiful Nordic song cycle is acute, never obtuse.

Susanna Triangle album artwork

Susanna is one of those rare artists who can be determinedly experimental while still producing material that radiates warmth and humanity, even at its most dejected.

The follow-up to 2013’s The Forester is a sequence of 22 exquisitely crafted vignettes. Some last a little over 90 seconds, a few seep beyond five minutes, but they’re all constructed with the care and precision of a poet. Rather than sounding sketchy, each piece resonates against the other. Recalling Talk Talk’s sparse syntax or the terse electronic ambience favoured by David Sylvian, the Norwegian’s songs congregate in discrete surges within a subtle production that often finds the angelic purity of her natural voice swarm into vast, tremulous choirs, or distort into disconsolate squalls. Wide-eyed with wonder, songs muse on distances both immeasurable and immediate. Yet amid the sonic and narrative ruminations are uplifting, reassuring moments: Texture Within, a tender ballad adorned with lonesome pedal steel guitar, and Hole, pulsating dayglo pop synth and swooning harmonies. With its capacity to nurture both head and heart, the music of Triangle is a gift.