It’s been about a year since Majke Voss Romme aka Broken Twin released Hold Onto Nothing, her first 4 track EP. This was followed by Sun has Gone, 2 tracks, the second being a cover of Johnny Thunders’, You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory, although you’d hardly know it as she completely makes it her own. Sun Has Gone and Out Of Air the final song on the Hold Onto Air EP, make up the 10 songs on May, her debut album.
A soundscape of piano, strings and some bass accompany delicate, quivering, melancholic vocals of mouthed English sounds that is almost a language we can understand. It’s certainly not Danish and although it’s hard to decipher, it all seems to be emotional journeys and personal reflections.
The album balances itself somewhere between Antony Hegarty and Mark Hollis and has a captivating languid beauty. After the regal opener, The Aching, the mood is set – piano and cello dominate the album but Glimpse Of Time, the second song, introduces guitar. This is the ‘single’ with its memorable chorus line, but it’s the third track Roam where the album becomes not just a thing of beauty, it also becomes sonically interesting as she looks for a way to keep it simple whilst experimenting with sound and rhythm.
Sun Has Gone from her first EP is next, voice, piano and muted trumpet perhaps, distant seagulls are conjured by synthesizer seas. Swapping piano for soft fret noise on River Raining she keeps the mood but changes how she brings it about, experimenting again. I can’t imagine that she could play anywhere live with a bar, for fear of shattering the atmosphere.
Soon After This brings back the percussion and Lo-Fi guitar with piano and silken keyboard melody. “Do You Care” she sings. You can’t help but do just that, the music holds you in reverie, paralysed, you can’t move, you don’t want to.
Out Of Air first appeared as the last track on her first EP and the clarity of her warbling over the piano and later cello evokes dusty sunlight beams on late afternoons in empty parlours with bay windows and rooms full of esoteric objects.
In Dreams has me waiting for the creak of the piano stool or a soft breeze blowing music off a stand onto a thick, rich patterned carpet with a flutter. Cello, hovers in the room and a different sounding voice that I hardly recognize as hers fills the room unseen – a ghostly ancestor rising to a crescendo that abruptly ends.
The penultimate, If Pilots Go To Heaven, starts as an acappella and builds to ethereal strings, piano and double bass “If pilots go to heaven, it takes an ocean of belief”.
The album ends with No Darkness and it’s a mass of contradictions in that the album seems to display an emotional maturity from this 25 year old Dane and an unspoken optimism, a melanchlolic hope, a sadness that is content and therefore happy. I leave the record not knowing whether to laugh or cry.
This is an album that will caress your sensitive soul, warm the cold corners of your heart and leave you satisfied inside whilst offering no solutions – it’s simple down to earth magic.