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Review: Karen Mose, Vingefang

Karen Mose
[Go Danish GO0311 (2011)]

This is the first solo recording by the Danish folk band Phonix’s singer Karen Mose, and it charts a far different path than the work she does with the band. The songs, largely traditional with some originals by Mose and a few covers, have a languid, moody feel. The sparse production has a very “live” sound, especially the drums, and it’s almost like you’re sitting in the studio with the musicians. Mose has never sounded better, her voice perfectly suited to the mood and tempo of the material. The title track “Vengefang” is the perfect example, with softly strummed acoustic guitar, light drums, double-tracked vocals, and strings rising out of the background. Producer Mads Riishede adds simple touches to the songs: pedal steel, flugelhorn, dobro, violin, organ, and piano by such noted musicians as Hal Parfittt-Murray, Jens Ulvsand, and Nikolaj Busk. It all adds up to a moody masterpiece that’s surely in the running for Danish record of the year. [www.myspace.com/karenmose; www.gofolk.dk]

—Jim Lee (Simi Valley, CA)

The official video for the title track, “Vingefang”:


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