zaterdag 25 maart 2017

Closure. Adna

The cover of Closure is not a common one in pop. A veiled woman, showing as much hair as possible. Not unlike I have seen in pictures or footage from Iran. Suppressed yet defiant? Closure is a word that so far I have heard most often used in a diplomatic sense: Do we have closure? Do we agree and can we move on to the next topic? For Adna Kadic herself it was the closure of the writing process. The song that came last became the title track and opening song. So there seems to be no link with the cover art.

Erwin Zijleman had the honor to write about Adna first on this blog. He wrote the review of her sophomore album, 'Run, Lucifer' in 2015. Her debut album 'Night' (2014) did not make it to these pages.

Closure is a heavy handed album by the Swedish singer who now lives in Berlin. The mood is solemn and serious. Perhaps not so much dark of tone yet subdued. Life is something serious and her music reflects that. Her voice is somewhat deeper than most women's voices, adding to that particular mood. French singer Lou Doillon comes to mind, although she dares to rock out every once in a while like on her last album, 'Lay Low'. The music, Adna says, comes from a dark place within herself that she has tried to come to grips with and give a place within her where she's o.k. with it. A serious process that is reflected in the music.

Adna adorns her music in a different way. Often adding a special touch to a song. A light sounding guitar or some electronics give a song a spark or a cloud with a silver lining. Somehow I have the idea that the end result I am hearing is what remains from a process of hard work and trial and error to find out what suits a song best. My guess is that she has found just what she was looking for. Although the music on Closure is not really my kind of music, I can totally relate to it, I find.

 Take the title song and the first on the album. The basis of the song is Adna's voice and a piano. The voice exhumes and takes up space. Made fuller by echo. Added to the song is a firm drum. Almost like Dotan's big drum percussion. It creates a tightness from which the song can't escape in any way. Not the musicians, nor the listener who is more or less forced to listen to the pounding drum. Taking in the rest of the song along the way.

Promo photo
'Overthinking' is a song that I somehow seem to know already. The light guitar notes that accompany the singing with the same chord pattern in the verse sound familiar. The song fits into the neo-folk sort of music the world has heard a lot of over the past years. Again the drums play a distinct role. It's the vocals that are so much more involved. Little vocal melodies and voices come from all sides. An intricate vocal ballet. Part of the sounding familiar part is explained by the fact that the melody and approach to the song returns in 'Soaked Eyes'. A different lyric, but quite similar.

Moving into the album Adna shows that she presents us with both piano songs and guitar songs. With the piano she certainly moves into Agnes Obel territory. Adna's songs appeal to the atmosphere she brings her listeners in. There's no blatant virtuosity in sight. What she does present is an intricately layered sort of music. Where a limited number of instruments are layered in such a way as to give the impression of a full sound, over which her voice(s) is/are draped. If I'm to choose, Adna plays her music far beyond of what Agnes Obel presented to the world last year. An easy win.

Closure is the ideal album to listen to with a headset on. All the details come to the listener once emerged totally. A moment between you and Adna and her musicians. It is this intimacy that makes me like Closure more than I'd expected at first listen. The carefully layered sound gives the album a distinct, own sound. It seems that the soul-searching and defining her music has paid off. Not much in life comes for free and even having talent takes hard work to cultivate. Adna has taken that lesson to heart and presents us with a beautiful album


You can listen to 'Overthinking' here:

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