A significant expansion on the aesthetics of her ambitious 2017 debut album Won, Lina Tullgren could win a much bigger fanbase with her sophomore effort Free Cell. Dynamic and tense, while retaining the elements of introversion and reflection that made her debut so acclaimed, Captured Tracks have got themselves another real diamond.
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'Free Cell' is the second album by Lina Tullgren. It's a mournful work that's imbibed with the strange atmosphere of long hours spent alone.
In its best moments 'Free Cell' reminds me of some of Bon Iver's more accessible work in how it feels like lots of separate parts combining together into a collage. 'Saiddone' is a highlight which trips along on a 6/8 rhythm with a music box-esque twinkliness.
Lots of the album's arrangements are rooted in a pretty traditional guitar, bass, and drums set-up. Thankfully, there are always little fragments that give the songs colour such as odd time signatures or string textures like on 'Glowing x 10000' and 'Soft Glove 2'. I daresay the album would be pretty forgettable without them.
Tullgren sounds best when she moves beyond traditional song structures and arrangements. This is why 'Soft Glove 2', with its weird textures and a gorgeous, soaring, cinematic string section, is one of the best songs on the album. The shuffle-y drum beats and laidback vocals bely a burbling undercurrent of intensity that comes to the fore on the album's best moments.
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