Norwegian multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Silje Nes is no stranger to crafting the picturesque. Much of the aural textures she paints are lucid combinations of instruments, sounds, and collections of tools she uses as both ink and brush. Her latest, Opticks, is a delicate balance between indie pop sophistication (the beautiful guitar-strummed opening of “The Glass Harp”) and more experimental tones (the percussion tinged meditation in “Silver>Blue”).
On top of the delicate music comes Nes’ fetching voice. Like a siren calling upon the rocks, its trance like qualities and infectious resonance gives Opticks another tier to grasp. Perhaps the most difficult aspect of the album is its subdued nature, drifting into lulls on occasion.
“Crystals” is the album’s best- offering all the quirky, offbeat tendencies with aplomb. Opticks, a self-reliant project from start to finish, is music as both art and commerce, crafted with the kind of talent and personality that keeps it from hiding in the background.
(Fat Cat Records)