Astrid Williamson

Here Come the Vikings

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Williamson's first self-produced effort matches the profoundly moving, sonorous qualities of her first three (and her old band Goya Dress). Will this classically trained, wonder-voiced Brighton belter ever receive the acclaim her songs and siren-seductive singing merit? Even after cooing with ex-Smiths star Johnny Marr in? Yet her albums remain statements in sensuality. Appealingly, she wraps naked sentiments of love, lust, and lament in her breathy, Shetland-born voice over lofty guitars and beautiful piano, such as on the lovely "Pinned" and dream pop-shimmery "Crashing Minis." (What a beautiful backdrop for words that equate faded romance with a car crash!). And her versatility pervades the jarring pivot from the typically (for her!) sexually frank "Shut Your Mouth" to the spiritual shush of "How You Take Me Breath Away." For such unabashed burning-yearning, she manages laughing lines like "Please forgive my pursuit of you/But I have to get to the root of you," while elsewhere referencing Walt Whitman's famous 1855 poem on the ecstatic "Sing the Body Electric." Just wonderful, again.

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