You want it darker? You want it more ominous? More dramatic? Then try Ceremony by Anna Von Hausswolff.  Sixty full minutes of brooding intensity that recalls Kate Bush, Nick Cave and Diamanda Galás to name but three. Chuck them in a blender and reach for the sky and you have Ceremony. Has she been on the soundtrack to Peaky Blinders yet? She should be. 

Vinyl LP £14.00 SLANG50053LP

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CD £10.99 SLANG50053

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Ceremony by Anna von Hausswolff
2 reviews. Write a review for us »

9/10 Moon Rabbit 9th June 2014

As someone once said: “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture—it’s really a stupid thing to want to do.” Sure, I can say 'Ceremony' is powerful, incendiary, deep, dark, creepy, atmospheric, panoramic, epic...and indeed all these adjectives fit it well, but eventually words can't really describe the beauty of good music. What good music makes you feel, what it makes you experience, is indescribable.

I'm also not the biggest fan of genre tags, although I understand why they are necessary, and use them often myself. If I was working in a record store, I would find it quite difficult to find the right tag to put 'Ceremony' under, as it defies the one genre categorization. It beautifully combines folk, ambient and pop with flavours of prog and post-rock. Kate Bush comes to mind and even Pink Floyd, but also Susanna (Rune Grammofon) and Jenny Hval (Rune Grammofon as well). That said, von Hausswolff has a sound and style of her own. It's also amazing that such a bewitching, heart-shattering voice comes out of such a petite lady.

'Ceremony' slipped under my radar when City Slang released it back in 2013, but fortunately, a collaborative effort of von Hausswolff and Swedish pianist and composer of film scores Matti Bye, that was released earlier this year by the mighty Denovali imprint, introduced me to the wonders of von Hausswolff and led me to 'Ceremony'. Both the CD and vinyl come with striking photography by Anders Nydam. The cover shows the pipes of the pipe organ of the century-old Annedalskyrkan Church, in von Hausswolff native Gothenburg, Sweden. It's the pipe organ she uses throughout the album. She also plays the piano and synths. Talented co-conspirators (including her sister) infuse the ride with guitars, drums, percussion, clavioline, zither, synths and additional vocals. These thirteen musical pieces ebb and flow in a space of an hour and stay with you long after the record has finished playing. Get yourselves a copy, I beseech you.

9/10 Ken, Nottingham Customer rating (no review), 19th December 2016



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