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Now that’s what I call Gothic: ‘Bad vibe queen’ Anna von Hausswolff unveils ‘The Miraculous’
10.12.2015
12:28 pm
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Now that’s what I call Gothic: ‘Bad vibe queen’ Anna von Hausswolff unveils ‘The Miraculous’


 
For any artist to name their album The Miraculous, a certain amount of incandescent numinosity would have to be present to back up the apparent chutzpah. Well, rest assured that Anna von Hausswolff‘s latest release has this quality in spades. It’s a very unexpected, almost out of time collection to drop on 2015, which is what makes it seem so significant. Stunning, immensely immense, harrowing at times and yes, quite awe-inspiring, The Miraculous sounds, to my ears, like a stately amalgamation of Kate Bush (at her most exotic) and Terry Riley’s organ drones, along with the icy feel of Nico’s Marble Index and a vaguely Black Metal attitude. (There’s also much in common here with the brilliant guitar diva Chelsea Wolfe. Wolfe and von Hausswolff seem like darkly connected soul sisters, albeit ones who were raised in Fresno and Sweden respectively.)

The “spiritual” (in the sense of religious ecstasy, ceremonial magic or even 19th century spiritualism) is difficult to ignore with Anna von Hausswolff’s work. First of all, the brooding instrumentation heard on The Miraculous includes one of the largest pipe organs in all of Sweden, the Acusticum Pipe Organ in Piteå, Northern Sweden, which contains nine thousand pipes and is capable of producing the sounds of a glockenspiel, vibraphone, celeste and percussion, even, “a screaming bird sound” as von Hausswolff explains, which is produced by “pipes half covered in water.”

Of the new album, she says:

“The main inspiration for this record comes from a book called Källan by Walter Ljungquist. It´s about kids on a spiritual journey, their search for something holy, the disappointment of not finding it, the joy of searching, and the importance of letting go of control.  I read this book when I was out touring with Efterklang in 2013 and it made a major impact on me. It made me think of the most fascinating place I know. I started to ask myself, ‘why am I so fascinated by this place and why do I keep going back to it?’ When I was a kid my family told me tons of stories about this place. Scary things and fantastic things, both truth and lies. There was, and still is, this weird fusion between reality and fantasy there. Every time I go to there my mind gets really creative and starts to add new stories and images to the old ones. It´s a place of mystery and doubt. It´s highly attractive and very scary at the same time. If I were to search for a miracle, just like the kids in the book, this is the place I would start looking; The Miraculous is my name for that place.”

The Miraculous will be revealed on November 13th on City Slang in Europe except Scandinavia, where it will be released through Anna’s own label, Pomperipossa Records. Other Music will release it in North America.

Here are the tour dates, which include just one US show in November:

12.11. NEW YORK (US) Saint Vitus
02.12. HAMBURG (DE) Nordwind @ Kampnagel
03.12. KÖLN (DE) Gebäude 9
04.12. BERN (CH) Nordwind @ Dampfzentrale
05.12. DRESDEN (DE) Beatpol
06.12. BERLIN (DE) Nordwind @ Sophiensäle
08.12. LONDON (UK) Oslo
11.12. DEN HAAG (NL) State X New Forms
12.12. GRONINGEN (NL) Vera
13.12. PARIS (FR) Le Petit Bain


Below is the world premiere of the promo video for the album’s haunting second single, “Evocation.” It was directed by the artist’s sister, Maria von Hausswolff:
 

 
Here’s a clip of Anna von Hausswolff in action on the pipe organ at Christ Church on Park Avenue in Manhattan performing a stunning rendition of “Funeral For My Future Children.” With a title like that one, you can see why MOJO dubbed her “Sweden’s bad vibe queen”...
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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10.12.2015
12:28 pm
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