The Place Where You Are EP – Julia Meijer (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Blurring the lines between traditional folk, ambient electronica, understated indie and perhaps some more primordial musical urges, The Place Where You Are is a sublime collection of songs. Whilst sounding very much the perfect collision between the modern musical grassroots and the more discerning end of the mainstream, there is also something mysterious and arcane laced through the music, the sound of the rarified air and wide-open spaces of her Swedish homeland, and perhaps something of the myths and legends for which it has provided the backdrop.

Always Awake matches her gorgeous voice with starker soundscapes, a gently meandering sound slow-burning its way forward and Under Water takes that same, simple sonic approach and seems to heighten its potential. The bass is more brooding, Meijer‘s voice is more otherworldly, the dynamics more…well, dynamic and swathes of haunting harmonies and pent up percussion drive both more elegantly and more forcibly. It’s also the first of two tracks found here which reunites Fyfe Dangerfield with the band’s fellow former Guillemot, drummer Greig Stewart.

Skydda Dig, sung in Swedish, proves that her voice is just as effective as an instrument when language becomes a barrier to most English audiences. Direct communication may be lost for many but this simple folk ballad is as powerful and emotive as anything else found on the EP.

The title track rounds things off, a tribal and taunting sound, primal and poignant built mainly out of shards of chiming guitars and drums which both pound and punctuate and again surrounded by heavenly voices and drifting sonics.

A lush and rich EP and made all the more so by the few sonic brush strokes it takes to paint its pictures.

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