Release Date: Mar 6, 2012
Record label: Propeller Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
In the interests of impartiality I should start with a simple disclaimer that, more often than not, I’m a sucker for the Nordic voice. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the conversational dialogue of a fictional Danish prime minister, the mellifluous tones of Solveig Slettahjell or the more ebullient idiosyncrasies of Bjork, they literally have me at hello. And so it was when I first saw Hanne Hukkelberg in a support slot at The Royal Festival Hall; within seconds of her taking the stage her winning mix of sweetness and humility (combined with her Norwegian accent) had me and most of the Nouvelle Vague-focussed audience in the palm of her hand.
Featherbrain brings Hukkelberg up to four albums, all of which seem to describe a protracted but unbroken journey to Somewhere. This new climate is the most hazardous yet: we’re out of the ice caverns of Blood From a Stone and into crumbling, vertiginous mountain paths and fields of thorns and tinder, and we still have yet to see our leader stumble. While from any other artist the odd lo-fi meandering-stroke-8-minute waffle would constitute weak points, Hukkelberg’s brazen confidence swells within each song till it’s airtight, impeccable.
Another album to treasure from the Norwegian performer. Luke Slater 2012 Norway has not been short of uncompromising musicians in recent years, and Hanne Hukkelberg has been a part of that set since her debut album in 2004. With her fifth full-length, Featherbrain, it is quite possible that she has elevated herself to greater heights. Her vocal flexibility and willingness to play around is evident from the start.