Astrid Sonne Great Doubt

Label
Escho
Released
26th January 2024

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Format Info

LP Vinyl

Throughout her acclaimed discography, Astrid Sonne has been carefully crafting different moods through electronic and acoustic instrumental endeavours. On “Great Doubt” this skill is refined, now with the distinct addition of the composer’s own vocal in front. The tone of each track is unmistakably Sonne’s, structured around contrasts through an impeccable sense of timing. Lyrics on the album are sparse, merely highlighting different scenes or emotional states of being, leaving the music to fill in the blanks. Yet they also form a pattern of ambiguity, consolidated through the album title, searching for answers through looking at how and what you are asking, questions for the world, questions of love. The viola, a trusted companion since Astrid Sonne’s youth, appears effortlessly throughout the album, fully integrated into the sonic universe; through a pizzicato driven arrangement in the poignant track “Almost” or along with booms and claps in mutated cinematic stabs during “Give my all”, paraphrasing Mariah Carey’s 1997 ballad. Yet the string section also gives way to explorations of woodwinds, counterbalancing the bowed movements with digital brass and airy flutes. Finally, beats and detuned piano are fresh additions to the soundscape, cementing how Sonne’s practice is always evolving into new territories. In fall 2022, Astrid Sonne relocated from Copenhagen with its peers of artists such as ML Buch, Erika de Casier and Smerz, to live in London, where musicians of the South-East London scene like Coby Sey, Lolina, Still House Plants and Mica Levi provide a new inspirational framework. “Great Doubt” bears witness to both of those geographical locations, yet finds itself in its own unique space, in many ways due to the presence of Sonne’s voice throughout. A voice that has always been present in her work, but never fully explored as a solo instrument before now. Astrid Sonne elaborates on the wish to work more in depth with the voice: “I come from a tradition of choir singing where I’ve used my voice as a way of creating unity with other voices. I’ve disciplined my voice in a certain way and this album is an exploration of me trying to find my own voice as an instrument, as a communicator, as a new way of being honest.” Questions take up a central role throughout the album. The doubt is 13 both a blessing and a curse, always lying in-between, acting as both what holds back and drives forward. A metamorphosis not going anywhere. The great doubt takes place in a space of courage, chances, love, loss, gifts and surprises.