Broken Twin

May

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AllMusic Review by

Majke Voss Romme, the Danish singer/songwriter operating the gears behind the curtain of Copenhagen's Broken Twin, has a voice that perfectly (and sonorously) evokes the Old English word uhtceare, which means to "lie awake before dawn worrying." It's both a balm and a tinderbox, delivering bad news soulfully and slivers of hope with great caution, and when paired with equally austere instrumentation, which consists largely of piano, electric guitar, and the occasional courtly/processional thrum of a single drum, it carries with it the weight of the world. Broken Twin's Anti debut, the warm, weary, and largely funereal May, will be of no use to listeners with whom artists like Antony & the Johnsons, Daughter, Susanna & the Magical Orchestra, and Tindersticks do not resonate. Romme's tales of woe manage to transcend the usual trappings of traditional singer/songwriter confessionalism by adopting a universal miasma, leaning more toward the dark English folk side of the chamber pop spectrum, invoking names like the Unthanks, June Tabor, Linda Thompson, and fellow frosty, mood-casting Dane Agnes Obel. Opener "The Aching" sets the tone and locks it in, offering up a four-minute lament/tribute to that ephemeral, hard to reach spot "Somewhere in between what you wanted and you didn't want" that resides within us all. It's a notion that she explores throughout the album's ten specter-like tracks, with highlights arriving via the folksy "Glimpse of a Time," the lovely and lovelorn "Sun Has Gone," and the quietly triumphant closer "No Darkness," the latter of which carries in its shaky hands, like a rehabilitated songbird, the faintest glimmer of hope.

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