When listening to ‘Forever’, Anna Soleil’s new EP, you really get an idea of who she is and what she’s into. Immediately when ‘It’s You’ we hear graceful piano and vocals. This makes sense given that as a child she tried out for the Norwegian Opera. As ‘It’s You’ progresses electronic motifs begin to make their presence felt. This also makes sense as at the same time as her opera audition Soleil also found a love for pop music. While the electronic sections aren’t as rambunctious as the music she loved growing up, it does tell us all we need to know. Soleil has a wonderful voice. Her playing is flawless, and she likes to mix genres.
‘Beauty Of Love’ starts with Soleil’s voice and a piano. The music is thoughtful. The vocals aren’t pleading, more imploring, but when Soleil sings “show me the beauty of love” you feel like she means it. Around the halfway mark things start to build. Electronics enter the mix. They’re subtle, but compliment Soleil and her piano. It feels like we’re building to something. Sadly, they never quite reach an outrageous peak. It would have been great to have them get to an all-consuming point and then drop away. Instead, about two third through, they just fall away. We’re left with just Soleil’s voice and a piano. That’s it. Nothing more. But we don’t need anything more.
‘Forever’ is mostly an electronic affair. There are layers of melodies that feel like they’re alive and moving around, and through, each other. Soleil also throughs in some deep bass, glitches of static and other effects to give us some great moments of texture. Its mostly instrumental, apart from a few almost operatic vocals, and the EP benefits from it.
‘Forever’ is a beautiful EP. I know that word gets banded about a bit too often, but in this case it’s true. Soleil’s playing is graceful. She draws these elegant passages from the piano. Then you have her vocals. Soft. Gentle. Filagree. Half-spoken. Half-sung, but effortlessly graceful. Then, if that wasn’t enough, you have these subtle melodies lurking beneath. Sometimes they are synths. Other times strings, but they really hold the EP together. This is an EP to treasure, well, forever. It’s a delight and with each listen we fall under Soleil’s charm.
Words: Nick Roseblade