Maud – The Love That Remains

A soundtrack to Spring renewal...

Norway’s ever-flowing river of electronic talent has yet to reach high tide, with new names being washed on to the shore on a near weekly basis. Maud – real name Kristine Hoff – was raised on the Northern tip of Norway, in a town where winter extends for months, and sun rarely sets in summer. It’s a special place, and – in her hands – that trademark electronic refulgency that dominates Norwegian pop has scarcely sounded so affecting.

Dubbed “a capsule of longing” by its maker, ‘The Love That Remains’ is all soaring vocals, a heady digital mesh, and some startling moments of breakneck club-focussed velocity. Opener ‘Eternal’ is a stunned mood piece, fragrant in its electronic exploration while affording room to Maud’s powerhouse vocal.

The perfume-esque appeal continues on some of the album’s true highlights, her mellifluous vocals bobbing up and down on a cyber-sonic sea. ‘Remind Me’ is a gorgeous moment of twinkling effects, before her thirst for percussive attack injects ‘Wherever I Go’ with a palpable feeling or urgency.

‘Let Me Feel It’ is underpinned by perpetually evolving percussive ticks, while the swirling soundscapes on ‘Hell Of A Ride’ put you in mind of a long rail journey, the landscape endlessly pirouetting past the window. Centrepiece ‘Will I Ever Love Again’ is a bravura statement, an intoxicating digital elixir dominated by subtle UKG inflections.

Closing with the eloquence of ‘Bad Thoughts & Past Lives’ and ‘Still Alive’, this new album from Maud arrives as Spring begins to assert itself, and the winds of winter begin to recede. In its effective blend of light and shade, moving from daytime introspection to night time abandon, the Norwegian aesthete may yet have provided your equinox soundtrack, a work of poise and balance that welcomes fresh light into her life.

7/10

Words: Robin Murray

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