It takes guts to have a track of five minutes length with nothing but a piano to accompany you for the vast majority of its running time. Especially as it's about returning aliens back to outer space.
Susanna – Sonata Mix Dwarf Cosmos
Right I'll be honest, as the cover ain't much, (the back of a girl's head in near darkness) the real reason for me picking this CD up in the first place is the fact that the title is Sonata Mix Dwarf Cosmos. There are also theremins, mellotrons and moogs and its chock full of Norwegians. I'm not being flippant, usually runegrammofon releases are excellent if a little subdued in tone. This is no exception as the first track, Intruder, is a stark, but dreamy ballad about being returned to outer space.
It takes guts to have a track of five minutes length with nothing but a piano to accompany you for the vast majority of its running time. Especially as it's about returning aliens back to outer space. Still, she manages it. It's oddly compelling. Born in the Desert continues the same vein, a weird story made all the more interesting by the utter starkness of the musical backdrop. We get a historical harp on Hangout, which makes everything sound utterly Arthurian... it's actually a brilliant love song very reminiscent of Julian Cope's Me Singing. Stay is a beautifully lachrymose ballad which builds up incredibly slowly into a real weepy. You just need patience...
We finally get a notch up in the sonic register with Better Days. This is the one with a mellotron on it. You get the feeling that instruments and Susanna could be a great match if she went for it a bit more... Still this is an enchanting, almost magical track. Elsewhere, Home Recording really shows of Susanna's fab voice, for a moment its as if she's emulating Vashti Bunyan...
Now where's that moog? Ah here, tucked away on the last track, Lily, a lovely song about the coming of Spring and the lily flower. Yes I know it sounds mawkish, but it isn't at all.
A soundtrack for a late night cuddle in bed, I'd say.
Words: Richard Foster