Molly Nilsson

Follow the Light

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With her first album, 2008's These Things Take Time, Molly Nilsson laid down the foundation of her modern synth pop sound: icy synthesizers and warm pianos, simple machine beats and loads of melancholy. Add her intensely personal, deep-as-a-frozen-lake vocals and she was on her way to somewhere special. Released in 2010, Follow the Light is even better. It sounds like she upgraded her gear a little, making the sound fuller and more spacious. The songs are tighter and more emotionally wrenching, and her voice is more assured and powerful. Despite all the subtle renovations, the album is still a wonderfully intimate document of outsider art that is inspired heavily by the synth pop pioneers who came before her. Like early Magnetic Fields, she melds the rudimentary electronics with an unerring melodic sense and lyrics that sound like they could have only been written by Nilsson. "I'm Still Wearing His Jacket" could have fit on Distant Plastic Trees, and Stephin Merritt would have been proud to have come up with the beautiful "The Closest We'll Even Get to Heaven." Nilsson would go on the upgrade her sound even more and get slicker as time went on; Follow the Light is a lovely starting place for anyone wanting to hear the moment when she began to put all the elements of her sound together.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
3:05
2
3:21
3
4:19
4
3:00
5
3:17
6
1:16
7
4:06
8
2:02
9
4:27
blue highlight denotes track pick