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Miscellaneous - Rebecca Karijold's 'We Become Ourselves'

  by Jon Rogers

published: 28 / 10 / 2012

Miscellaneous - Rebecca Karijold's 'We Become Ourselves'


In his 'Hitting the Right Note' column, Jon Rogers finds Norwegian singer-songwriter Rebekka Karijord's magical second album 'We Become Ourselves' deserving of attention

Some artists are inextricably intertwined with their landscape. It would be hard to imagine Sonic Youth without the urban cityscape of New York. These artists pick up and resonate the environment they are from. Norwegian Rebekka Karijord is one such artist with an album of subtle accomplishment. 'We Beoome Ourselves', her second album, is a vast sounding album yet also strangely intimate and personal. Perhaps that was achieved by the way it was recorded. Initial sessions took place on a farm in the summer last year with the general aim to be a "double album project about femininity and masculinity, love, sexuality and the fleetingness of human nature." Several weeks later and Karijord wasn't particularly satisfied with the results and so move to the more urban environment of Stockholm. Here, the songs were developed and re-worked. Initially stripped down songs were built upon and filled out with church organs, boys and men's choirs, piano, guitars and drums to expand the sound. In Karijord's mind she wanted a "huge, physical and powerful record, yet stripped and raw, with its flaws on its sleeve." In effect Karijord set the benchmark pretty high. And for the most part she has achieved her aims. Somewhat contradictory, 'We Become Ourselves' has a rather cold vastness to it - all bleak twilight and the sense that a darkness is coming - and a warm, comforting intimacy that makes the listener not fear the approaching darkness. 'We Become Ourselves' slowly works its magic over repeated listens, rather like PJ Harvey at her most contemplative and introspective or possibly a female Robert Wyatt (without the cheesy puns). Really it is an album to be heard in its entirety rather than just a few standout tracks but Karijord is at her strongest on songs like 'Use My Body While It's Still Young', 'Bandages' and 'Ode to What Was Lost'. There is the sense that the record will just be lost to obscurity, overlooked by a xenophobic music industry that appears to shun almost everything that isn't from the USA or the UK and the desire to suck up to the latest Justin Bieber effort or whatever 'The X Factor' is overhyping this week as it passes off banality as the latest sensation. Please don't let that happen.

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