Anna Von Hausswolff - Ceremony
With a name almost as gothic as her music, Anna Von Hausswolff’s strange funeral pop, wailing operatic tones and grand church organ is certainly one thing: unique. The Swedish singer-songwriter returns with her second album - the first being the optimistically titled Singing From The Grave - with Ceremony proving to be a captivating, if at times depressing affair.
Grand opening 'Epitaph of Theodor' instantly sets the tone, with atmospheric organ tinged with a haunting sense of foreboding. 'Deathbed' continues this mournful theme, with its gruesome video being rife with chains, snakes, fire, rituals and the ripping out of hearts (literally). Yet for all the grace and majesty, and her capacity for capturing the inherent danger of the natural world, the mid-album slump that runs from 'Goodbye' through to 'No Body' suggests Von Hausswolff too easily slips into melodrama and Scandinavian gloom. As the daughter of somewhat controversial avant-garde artist Carl Michael Von Hausswolff, (he allegedly used the ashes of Holocaust victims for a painting) a certain approach is to be expected, but it may be too much for less patient British ears. One, we think, for the Kate Bush fan in need of adventure.