Exposé Online banner

Phaedra — Blackwinged Night
(Rune Grammofon RCD2172, 2015, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2015-10-26

Blackwinged Night Cover art

On the strength of its darkness and pensive feelings alone, this one would be a winner; there are a lot of artists in that kind of space, but few quite like Phaedra, a Norwegian trio plus guests led by producer, singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist Ingvild Langgård. The feeling throughout its seven tracks captures a folky, dreamy pop vibe that layers multiple female voices over a sound bed of instrumentation that all proves to be at once both captivating, contemplative and somewhat brooding. The core of the band is the trio of Langgård (vocals, synth, zither, harmonium), Jørn Tore Egseth (organs, piano, synths, e-guitar, omnichord, tapes electronics), and Ane Marthe Sørlien Holen (drums, marimba, xylophone, glockenspiel, percussion) which is augmented by numerous other players adding violins, viola, clarinet, bass clarinet, bass flute, bass guitar, and percussion, track depending. Much credit also needs to go to engineer and co-producer Christian Engfelt for the stunning studio creation that this is, with its multiple harmony voices fading in and out, making Phaedra sound like a much larger ensemble. One might suspect that many additional singers and instrumentalists need to be added in order to make this happen in a live setting. At times the listener might be reminded of some of the artists from the Projekt and 4AD labels from years gone by, like Faith and Disease, Unto Ashes, even Dead Can Dance. The label’s promo sheet compares this to Nico, with which I also agree. This may not be for everyone, especially those looking only for a more rock-based sound, but most readers should find plenty herein to explore and appreciate.


Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): Phaedra

Latest news

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Bumble B - Flight of the Bumble B – Bumble B is the female lead singer for The Smell of Incense. When they performed at the Herzberg Open Air festival in 1999, Bumble B entertained the audience with her unaccompanied Norwegian folk...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover

Exclusive Premier of a New Cheer-Accident Track

Cheer-Accident adSKiN GRAFT Records’ Mark Fischer states that “The Chicago vs New York compilation is an album in its own right… and not just some sort of a label sampler. Most of the songs on the compilation are exclusive to it." Thymme Jones of Cheer-Accident says of "War Is a Warrior," " It’s definitely not going to be on the next Cheerax album.”

We'll have a review of Chicago vs New York in the coming weeks, so keep your eyes out for that.



Print issues