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Hanne Hukkelberg
Blood From A Stone
Nettwerk Records
www.hannehukkelberg.com


Electronica artist Hanne Hukkelberg sows passages with soft ambient tones relatable to Hem fused with the punk-inspired romanticism of Paramore in her music for Blood From A Stone released via Nettwerk Records. The aquatic swishing in her music displays a lacquered finish, and the crisp club beats made by the drum machine infuse a techno-pop strobe through the tracks. She curbs the embellishments and exerts linear streaks to ornament her songs with minimal distractions. The music slants towards the easy listening side of the pop spectrum and spends a majority of its output recycling its ambient swishing.

Hukkelberg does fire up the synth furnaces in the title track and "Seventeen" which give the album a shot of adrenaline with feverish lashes and whipping reflexes. Her vocals are sweet sounding but lack luster, leaving the synths to add sparks and flakes of glitter to the tracks. The electro-pop flutters of "In Here/Out There" induce a dream-pop trance, but it's the soft-pop pellets of the airy synths that Hukkelberg shows a special sentimentality for and dresses her music up in like it's the only style worth showcasing. Even with the glittery nuances that ornament "Crack" and the resounding bell chimes of "No One But Yourself," the music feels wishy-washy and milksoppy. Hukkelberg's penchant towards soft-pop musings dominates the album, even through the cavernous channels and wintry atmospherics of "Bygd Til By." Her lyrics are observations about private experiences like in "Crack" as she theorizes, "Put fear inside a dense box / It will grow, later explode / Shame, anger, guilt put behind bars / They will grow / Later they crack." The symbolism in her words reflects the act of pressing a rose between the pages of her diary, to make a point of remembering them for all time.

Singer, songwriter and electronica artist Hanne Hukkelberg shows the soft-pop tendencies of Imogen Heap using processed beats and spongy atmospherics to line almost every track. The music moves in a linear path for the most part, and draws out dreamy sways and a palpable sentimentality. Hukkelberg's music makes audiences feel like they are intruding on a private discussion that she is having with herself.

-Susan Frances

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