‘Puzzler’ by Hilma Nikolaisen (Album)
This Norwegian valkyrie’s debut album is chaotic and calming with many pieces to its puzzle, making its name perfectly apt
Raised by the shores of Norway’s west coast, on a sturdy diet of spirituality and music, Hilma Nikolaisen’s debut album has a sound that shares similarities with psych-pop from the west coast of the USA. Washy, laid back and reflective: her lyrics attempt to celebrate what it means to be human.
Better known as the bassist in her brother Emil’s band Serena-Maneesh – one of Norway’s most influential bands – Nikolaisen’s upbringing has made its mark on the unusual melodic modes in her music. Refinement and chaos exist simultaneously within the music and the androgynous vocals heard throughout the album, defining its sound.
The album’s 10 tracks have a varied range of influences from the classic pop sentiments heard on Cloud Nine Rewind and Home Straight Sorries, to the glittery, post-punk guitars of Word, and the folk-rock elements of Swings And Roundabouts.
Many collaborators have contributed to the mixing process, with members of The Dandy Warhols and Lionheart Brothers included in the long list. Overall, this is a set of songs that will have you swaying around your bedroom, but also proves to be the perfect chill out album.
Verdict: Has a bit of everything