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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Friday, April 16, 2004
    In blue
    Today, another fruitless search for a cd of Hector Zazou's Songs From The Cold Seas, but I returned home instead with something as brittle and singular; Stina Nordenstam's And She Closed Her Eyes.

    Zazou's atmospherics carry the listener far northwards, out into icy waters, and his female collaborators give voice to the purity and desolation of those cold sea flows - Siouxsie, Jane Siberry, Bjork, Suzanne Vega. Nordenstam's vision recalls Zazou's, but differs: her songs are not sweeping but intimate, not cold but attractively oblique. In an interview with a Swedish magazine she said,

    "I'm very sensitive to things like describing reality, even though I think it's the most interesting thing, because it's very modern in a way. A hundred years ago, that effect on people's perception of reality didn't exist. For example, I tend to think that it's horrifying that everybody is reading the news at the same time. They buy the evening paper, read the same thing and think the same thing. That's really scary, I think."

    So what that it was Amazon that put me onto her: listening to Nordenstam I believe my ears have found a precious unique voice. Between my headphones I am in blue, surging icy Swedish blue.