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Right on cue for the dark days of winter comes this pensive, intimate album, conceived and recorded in the south Norwegian countryside. The house where its eight songs were captured stands on the cover, with twentysomething Juni Habel on its step and its owner, her grandmother, looking on from a window. Habel’s brother, husband and uncle are among those adding small accompaniments to her spare, acoustic guitar – bass, strings, glockenspiel – though it’s her vocals, mixed to the fore and sometimes double-tracked, that dominate the record’s intense, twilit atmosphere.

The songs are sad but considered, their melancholia held at bay by Habel’s strength of character and touching lyrics. It’s a family affair in more ways than one, with several songs addressed to Habel’s teenage sister, whom she lost in a car accident. Titles such as I Went Out and Sought for Your Name and I Carry You, My Love tell their own story, but there is resilience and a faith in nature woven into their sorrow. That the album’s jazz-tinged brand of folk could as easily have come from the 1970s as the present day is no criticism. An affecting, timeless piece of work from a writer on song.


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