(photo: Adrian Wigerdal)
Swedish artist Ji Nilsson has just gone and released her debut album. After many singles, and an EP a couple of years back, she’s come out with ‘Scandinavian Pain’. Written, produced, and recorded by Ji entirely herself (with the exception of tracks 3 and 6) in her apartment in Hornstull, Stockholm. Anyone familiar with Ji’s sound will by now know that listeners can come to expect a unique and inimitable style from the blue haired popstar. And ‘Scandinavian Pain’ thankfully uses that as its template. As a result, it’s a phenomenal listen that does the job of taking you on a real journey and transporting you to a very special soundscape.
Our two big highlights on there are ‘Horoscope’ and ‘Worth It’, with the former in particular sounding like it’s aching to be a smash hit in her native Sweden and beyond. Special mention goes to the two singles ‘Save Me For Later’ and ‘Proud’. And we’re also big fans of ‘Raspberry’, ‘Sleeping Pills’, and ‘In My Blood’.
Our only gripe with the whole thing is ‘Breathe’ – during which the album literally takes a breather and morphs into something not so pleasant. If it had to be included, we would have much preferred it tagged on as the closing track. But placed slap BANG in the middle, all it does is have the rather jarring effect of waking you and taking you back from that aforementioned special soundscape. As such, the album is probably best approached and digested as an album of two halves.
You can find ‘Horoscope’ on our Best New Synthpop playlist.