[sic] Magazine

Rebekka Karijord – We Become Ourselves

The industry’s conveyor belt of female voices continues to roll, but with Rebekka Karijord ‘s on-going evolution from run-of-the-mill sombre songstress to ambitious composer and arranger it seems to have gifted one with way more than the usual iota of personality.

In possession of an especially impressive set of lungs, Karijord is unquestionably branching out with We Become Ourselves . Picking up where her debut album’s single “Parking Lot” left off, the thematically dark “Use My Body While It’s Still Young” bubbles with rhythmic handclaps and alt-pop hooks that stick with Lykke Li -like persistence around a line of vintage organ progressions. So too are the swells and mildly threatening undertow of “Your Love” born of the sort of intelligent, slightly dark pop for which we have the likes of Florence to thank.

Yet it’s misleading to assume We Become Ourselves is full of such turns. With its sparse percussion, the atmospheric opener “Prayer” does a far better job of setting the overall scene , Karijord cooing like the wind of her native Norway and testing her register periodically with wildly melismatic dalliances. The track also introduces a clever inversion of type too when a sinister lurching is added via a deep male choir who reappear both on the spine-tingling “You Make Me Real” (which hangs on the most minimal percussive clicking and dither of evocative strings), as well as on the otherwise neither-here-nor-there “Save Yourself”, which closes with an organ-accompanied, almost ecclesiastical exercise in reverence.

The mood is altogether lighter, more optimistic and playful during “Multicolored Hummingbird”. Neverthless, and despite an operatic turn at its midpoint, it perhaps lacks the depths elsewhere apparent on this strong LP. The tender title track on the other hand seems a window to another age in comparison, its whispery outdoorsy folk a memory of woodland nymphs going about their nocturnal dance in a landscape since ravished and rendered into that of the gothic artwork.

There are two big piano hitters worthy of mention too – pure killer if you love echoing footfalls and lip-wobbling vocals – the latter of which, “Ode To What Is Lost”, draws on Karijord’s background in musical scores before drifting off into mesmeric meandering not unlike that of Julianna Barwick . The closer “Bandages”, on which fellow Scandinavian songstress Ane Brun guests, is an equally ethereal and naturalistic ballad.

There’s real skill on display here, both in the spacious mix and vocal gymnastics yet Karijord doesn’t hold universal appeal – she’s more special than that. Those that do fall for her charms however will do so obsessionally, deeply scarred by this old world Siren.

Advised downloads: “Prayer” and “Your Love”.

~We Become Ourselves is out now on Control Freak Kitten Records .~