Marianne Engebretsen is a Norwegian singer songwriter who I first discovered last Autumn through her single Light As The Moon. The track is taken from her second album Something New, and I enjoyed it so much I thought I’d give the album a listen as well. Here’s what I thought.
By Graeme Smith
Feature Photo by Malin Longva
As I discovered with Light As The Moon, Marianne has a wonderfully delicateness to her sound. It’s beautifully displayed from the off with Something New‘s opening title track. Bright, breezy but with an understated epic-ness, it works perfectly to get you in the mood for what is to come. Listening to it just lets the stresses of the day melt away.
Light As The Moon comes next, perfectly placed. While the opening track spoke of romantic love, Light As The Moon focusses on the familial, being a tribute to Marianne’s mother. In my review of her single, I compared her sound to Little Dragon and that comparison holds most true when it comes to this track.
The theme of this album is about growing up and moving to a new phase in life, and all that comes with it. Marianne’s not afraid to keep it real and bare it all when it comes to her song writing, and the honesty and vulnerability that comes with that is really powerful. This is beautifully exemplified by track three Strange To You, a groovy piece of dreamy electronica about lost love.
The stripped back Skeleton comes next, a sad, tender ballad about mental health struggles. It’s followed by a short interlude that leads into the second half of the album, starting with Summerdays. A surprisingly melancholic piece given its title, with space-y synths and isolated vocals.
Citylights is an atmospheric and experimental piece, with jazzy keys interplaying with acoustic guitar. Just as you feel you have got a grips on Marieanne’s sound, He Had A Name introduces driving percussion, electric guitar and post-rock elements. It’s a late album highlight.
The album is rounded off by I’ll Sing Your Song and its instrumental coda Ending. With an emotive piano melody and strings, it both warms and breaks the heart. Marianne’s voice is simply stunning here, showcasing why she became a semi-finalist in Norway’s version of The Voice. The lyrics are full of imagery. It’s a great track to get lost in.
Something New is a stunning collection of tracks from an artist who has international star potential. Her fans at home already know it, but it’s about time to rest of us wake up to the fact. This album could well be the wake-up call. You can listen to it below.