Sandra Kolstad

Zero Gravity State of Mind

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On her third album, Sandra Kolstad continues to merge electronic and acoustic sounds in equally dramatic and immediate ways, moving from the conservatory to the dancefloor and back again without ever seeming contrived. Her classically trained background is always present -- never more so than on "Ice Age" and "Roots," which begin and end the album with her signature piano skills -- but it's only one part of her music. "Earthquake" begins with singer/songwriter intimacy, then lifts off on massive synths that would make M83 jealous. "Rooms," meanwhile, morphs from earthy synth pop to electronically enhanced folk as it moves from verse to chorus. The singles remain standouts, with "My Yellow Heart" combining space-age pop and a lilting, jazzy vocal into something irresistible and aloof at the same time, while "Zero Gravity State of Mind" is a sparkling cocktail of hooks and philosophy. However, the deeper cuts have just as much to offer, whether it's the playfully kinetic "Million" or the icy-hot wildness of "Benjamin." A truly vivid album, Zero Gravity State of Mind finds Kolstad at the peak of her powers.