Alice Boman's EP II should be listened to outdoors during a spring dusk, at around 7 in the evening.  Her voice, full of impossible longing, speaks the darkness of distance and the brightness of pyres burning in sunset colors. The album opens with "What," a track that features a rhythm section made up of the occasional kick and ambient scratches, plus gorgeous piano floating in a lake of white noise. "Over" is one of the highlights of the record, reminiscent of post-punk pioneers The Young Marble Giants. The song's bare-bones beat and synth-organ will bring to mind the Giants' minimalist stylings, though Alice has more folk-baroque vocal style than Alison Statton's. Instead her voice evokes Cat Power's emotional quaver and the weird theatricality of Antony Hegarty. One would almost be tempted to say that because of its sparseness and relaxed textures, EP II was a meditation on despair; but the narrative is more uplifting underneath the surface. "Waiting" finishes things off perfectly, bringing together a smooth assemblage of slowcore guitar, reverb-cloaked piano, and ponderings on the paradox of wanting more than needing. Rather than suggesting futility, Alice Boman's music embodies a longing for the impossible, a strange desire which makes it music best listened to at dusk, when the certainties of sunlight give way to the strangeness of night.  Listen to this Swedish chantress' latest extended play as a soundtrack to green, summer evenings. [Luke Manning]

Tagged in: Swedish, singer-songwriter, piano, Folk, EP II, ambient, Alice Boman, album review   

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