Precise, unblinking and utterly spellbinding Scandinavian folk that’ll stop you dead, perfectly in line with the bleakest, most morbid traditions of that continent’s music. Wagner – born in Ethiopia, raised in Finland – possesses a singularly disquieting calm to her singing, and an oblique slant to her songwriting that prevents you from seeing the entire picture at once, as though there’s part of an empty room hidden from view behind a corner or shrouded in shadows. Put it this way: the song’s refrain, “no death will tear us apart,” is not remotely comforting despite the sentiments; and the eventual appearance of death is far from its most unsettling moment.

Alex Macpherson

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