Hanne Hukkelberg Featherbrain (2012)

Hanne Hukkelberg ≡ Featherbrain (2012)

              Hanne Hukkelberg — Featherbrain
Born: April 1979, Kongsberg, Norway /                                                                                                   Location: Oslo, Norway  
Album release: February 20 (UK)/March 6 (USA), 2012
Record Label: Propeller Recordings – PRR51 (Norway) / Nettwerk
Genre: Electronic, Folk, World, & Country, Jazz, Pop
Style: Future Jazz, Folk, Experimental, Ambient
Duration:     40:42

01 Featherbrain
02 Noah
03 I sing you
04 The bigger me
05 My devils
06 Too good to be good
07 SMS
08 The time and I and what we make
09 You gonna
10 Erik
Website: http://www.hannehukkelberg.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/hannehukkelberg / Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/hannehukkelbergFile:Hanne Hukkelberg at Bush Hall 2.jpg                                                       ©  Author: 金娜 Kim S from London, UK; May 11, 2009    ///      Discography:
Cast Anchor (EP) (2003)
Little Things (2004)
A Cheater's Armoury (single) (2006)
Rykestraße 68 (2006) #27 NOR
Blood from a Stone (2009) #22 NOR
Featherbrain (2012) 

01  Featherbrain
» Effects [Guitar Effects] – Ivar*
» Mbira [Calimba], Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Clavinet, Sounds [Clogs On A Forth Greene Sewing Table] – Hanne*
» Mbira [Kalimba] – Kåre*       4:35  
02  Noah
» Organ [Kongsberg Church's Gloger Organ] – Sigurd*
» Performer [Violin Bow On Acoustic Steel String Guitar], Strings, Effects [Guitar Effects], Sounds [Scissors, Ladle, Lunch Packet, Skaland Rocks], Piano, Bass [Frenetic Bass] – Hanne*
» Strings, Acoustic Guitar – Kåre*       4:31  
03  I Sing You
» Lead Guitar [Guitar Solo], Guitar [Guitar Noise] – Kåre*
» Performer [Bow On Guitar String Quartet], Sounds [Cutlery, Breath],tom Tom [Toms], Bass [Chorus Bass], Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Harpsichord – Hanne*  3:05  
04  The Bigger Me
» Mbira [Calimba], Sounds [Wineglasses, New York Kettle Whistling], Performer [Blåsningen On Acoustic Guitar], Whistling – Hanne*       2:48  
05  My Devils
» Choir [Loud Kitchen Choir], Sounds [Bass Clogs, Clogs On A Forth Green Sewing Table], Synthesizer [Gil's Linndrum], Mbira [Calimba On The Bruket], Percussion [On A » Big Katzenjammer Bass Flight], Drums, Bass Drum – Hanne*
» Guitar [Guitar Noise] – Ivar*
» Organ [Kongsberg Church's Gloger Organ] – Sigurd*
» Piano [Prepared Bruker Piano], Guitar, Tape [Tape Treatment] – Kåre*    4:02  
06  Too Good To Be Good
» Backing Vocals, Sounds [Clogs On A Forth Greene Sewing Table, Double Bass Drums On New York Sewing Table], Handclaps, Glockenspiel, Synthesizer [Neel's Casio], » Performer [Guitar Tuning Knob], Synthesizer [Synth Bass], Guitar [Pitched Guitar] – Hanne*
» Electric Guitar, Vibraphone, Piano, E-bow – Kåre*
» Performer [Bow On Banjo] – Ivar*       7:52  
07  Sms
» Harmonica – Kåre*
» Sounds [Cell Phone, Clogs On A Forth Greene City Sewing Table, Pocket], Guitar – Hanne*       1:14  
08  The Time And I And What We Make
» Guitar [Guitar Noise] – Ivar*
» Guitar, Tape [Guitar Tape Treatment] – Kåre*
» Organ [Kongsberg Church's Gloger Organ] – Sigurd*
» Vocals [Beautiful High Tuned Vocals] – Mai Elise*
» Vocals [Crazy Kitchen Vocals] – Hanne*       4:30  
09  You Gonna
» Acoustic Guitar, Percussion [Cutlery Percussion], Tape [Tape Treatment] – Kåre*
» Guitar [Guitar Noise] – Ivar*
» Performer [Bow On Guitar], Synthesizer [Gil's Linndrum, Synth], Percussion [On A Katzenjammer's Hardcase, Cupboard], Acoustic Guitar, Piano – Hanne*    3:47  
10  Erik
» Backing Vocals, Whistling – Hanne*
E-bow [On Celestophone], Piano [Kåre's Self-tuned And Prepared Piano] – Kåre*
» Vocals [Main Vocals] – Erik*       4:18
Companies etc:
» Phonographic Copyright (p) – Propeller Recordings
» Copyright (c) – Propeller Recordings
» Recorded At – Propeller Music Division, Oslo
» Mixed At – Propeller Music Division, Oslo
» Mastered At – Propeller Mastering
» Artwork – Forestry.no*
» Mastered By – Morgan Nicolaysen
» Musician [Additional] – Erik Vister, Ivar Grydeland, Kåre Chr. Vestrheim*, Mai Elise Solberg, Sigurd Hukkelberg
» Producer – Hanne Hukkelberg, Kåre Chr. Vestrheim*
» Recorded By, Mixed By – Kåre Chr. Vestrheim*, Mike Hartung
» Vocals – Hanne Hukkelberg
» Words By, Music By – Hanne Hukkelberg
» Recorded and mixed at Propeller Music Division in Oslo
» Mastered at Propeller Mastering in Oslo
» Propeller Music Publishing and Sony/ATV Music Publishing Scandinavia
» © & ℗ 2011 Propeller Recordings
» Released in a Digipak with lyrics booklet» Featherbrain is a risky album. Both dissonant and lyrical, it is music for headphones and notebooks. Its intimate, eccentric sounds demand your intimacy and your eccentricity, but the effort is rewarded: a personal and honest sonic world opens up, in fact, so sincere Hukkelberg had to toughen up to record it. Listen carefully.
Hukkelberg’s music has always been about personal sound. This has given her great artistic freedom to move effortlessly between genres, and her three previous albums are defined by utterly distinct soundscapes: debut Little Things (2005) was eccentric and adventurous, second offering Rykestrasse 68 (2007) warm and lyrical, and third album Blood From A Stone (2009) explored a huge, romantic indie rock canvas. The otherworldly take on pop, jazz and art rock has given Hukkelberg a wide audience internationally, and in 2010 she toured with Wilco. This was also the year she travelled to New York to write new material. The result is Featherbrain, combining the noisy guitars and heavy rhythms of Blood From A Stone with a more stripped-down, lyrical lightness. She explains: ”This album feels like the missing link, the record that concludes my first years as a solo artist...Featherbrain is its own beast, but it still has aspects of the other three in it.”
» Several songs on Featherbrain sound like old home recordings. Every song has its own place, as if you’re wandering from room to room in Hukkelberg’s world – her kitchen and church in The Time And I And What We Make, a New York apartment in The Bigger Me. I Sing You, with a gothic harpsichord, multiple string instruments and mystical vocal, evokes a dark, old wooden house she has lived in. Accompanying her are a small family of musicians – producer/multi-instrumentalist Kåre Vestrheim (Motorspycho, Jaga Jazzist, Marit Larsen, Shining, Katzenjammer, Superfamily), guitarist Ivar Grydeland (Huntsville, Dans Les Arbres), vocalist Mai Elise Solberg (Ontz, VOM) – as well as Sigurd Hukkelberg, Hanne’s father, playing the church organ in her home town of Kongsberg.
» The feeling of home recordings doesn’t make the album cosy – but it makes the music sound intimate, moving and imperfect – guitar notes distort, a piano moves in and out of tune. It sounds lived, not just dreamed. And this gives life to a new and more personal Hukkelberg – her voice is equally imperfect. She wobbles, improvises and confesses. First single My Devils opens with a few simple piano chords, before her voice breaks it all down with a snarl: ”HAH!” The track continues, shifting between a free-flowing, staggering verse and a melodic feast of a chorus, before accelerating into a flamboyant, razor-sharp vocal arrangement.

"they tear apart and reconstruct
my personal, inner pictures"

sings Hukkelberg, her voice layered in intensely beautiful dissonant takes, bringing to mind an experimental, aggressive chorus of Elizabeth Fraser.
» Closing track Erik, sung in Norwegian, is a duet with Erik Vister, an 88-year old classically trained singer. The lyrics, sung to a detuned piano, deal with asceticism – owning little, appreciating the little things, being humble. This is an important theme on the album – being a good person, the human quality. Vister’s ancient, beautiful voice against Hukkelberg’s brings out the most beautiful quality there is: the imperfect, honest existence. This is Featherbrain’s biggest achievement – creating a kind of antique pop music, at the same time brittle and soft, powerful and fragile, but most of all overwhelmingly human.

Hanne Hukkelberg ≡ Featherbrain (2012) Hanne Hukkelberg ≡ Featherbrain (2012)

Critical reception:
» The album received positive reviews. On the Metacritic aggregate listing of 9 reviews, the album scored 78, which is annotated there as "generally favorable reviews". James Atherton writing for Drowned in Sound concluded his 8/10 review with: "Whilst Hanne’s music has evolved since her debut Little Things in 2004, Featherbrain is an album that pulls various strands of that development together to make something new. Unlike the recent offering from the Nordic’s most famous musical export there is no technical wizardry at work here, no apps and no iPads, just heartfelt song-writing grounded in honesty and intimacy. And that voice." Luke Slater reviewing for BBC Music wrote: "As well as the fundamental strength of composition – it is not that structurally strange – what must also go down as a huge part of Featherbrain’s appeal and boldness is the instrumentation. The influence of experimental jazz works its way through to the fore and the way in which these unusual sounds tap, pierce and slice through the music creates an often unsettling and unpredictable ambience. They do sometimes jar, but for the most part they complete the structural foundations." 
BBC Review:
Another album to treasure from the Norwegian performer.
Luke Slater 2012-02-20
» Norway has not been short of uncompromising musicians in recent years, and Hanne Hukkelberg has been a part of that set since her debut album in 2004. With her fifth full-length, Featherbrain, it is quite possible that she has elevated herself to greater heights.
» Her vocal flexibility and willingness to play around is evident from the start. Though not always utilised, on Noah the melody winds and wails, upwards and downwards, its layers upon layers creating a huge textural density. These phrases, you feel, are potentially endless.
» As well as the fundamental strength of composition – it is not that structurally strange – what must also go down as a huge part of Featherbrain’s appeal and boldness is the instrumentation. The influence of experimental jazz works its way through to the fore and the way in which these unusual sounds tap, pierce and slice through the music creates an often unsettling and unpredictable ambience. They do sometimes jar, but for the most part they complete the structural foundations.
My Devils recalls much of that Nordic ambient weirdness as a murky melody is hidden in the mix, floating above an accompaniment which flits between jauntiness and a minimalistic serenity. The vocals are both redolent of the robotic Karin Dreijer Andersson and the laidback drone of Phil Elverum. Tones are altered throughout and no two songs are at the same level of intensity. The casual The Bigger Me has something of a song recorded in a kitchen about it – percussively it echoes pots and pans, and features whistles both human and machine, the latter seemingly from a kettle.
» The album’s closing track is in great contrast to nearly all of what comes before it. Hukkelberg duets with an elderly man on the lament Erik, performing in her native tongue. They plod along together to a detuned piano, swaying between a foreboding hum before a more rousing finale. It seems fitting that a record so difficult to place – and indeed recorded in a variety of locations – eventually finds its way home, so to speak.
» With Featherbrain, Hanne Hukkelberg shows not only a willingness to keep her characteristic sound and change its dressings each time, but does so in a way which sounds so daring. But, aside from all that, it’s another Hukkelberg album to treasure.  // Review also: by James Atherton (http://drownedinsound.com)

 © Hanne’s concert at Blue Note Jazz Club in Poznań, Poland 18.09.2010.Photographer: Michal Narozny.

 Hanne Hukkelberg Featherbrain (2012)