You’re hiking through a dense forest, when you come across a small pile of bones. There seems to be a trail of them leading between two massive boulders, so you take the plunge and begin to follow their guidance. You nearly trip on a brick, charred by an ancient fire, as you discover sprawling ruins among the trees. The air begins to hum loudly, colors in your vision change, and you are knocked out. You awake to find a city, intact and towering over you . . .
A refined personal folklore can be an artist’s greatest resource of creative inspiration. To craft a mythological world ripe with fleshed-out characters and stories is to birth a dimension stuffed with endless ideas, ripe for the picking. The Miraculous is the newest full-length from Anna von Hausswolff, a singer and multi-instrumentalist from Gothenburg, Sweden that transformed her lore-filled world into this wonderful record.
In order to make this album, von Hausswolff journeyed to Piteå with her four-piece backing band. The city is home to a piece of equipment called the Acusticum Pipe Organ, a colossus with 9,000 pipes — all submersible in water to produce new sounds — glockenspiel, vibraphone, and built-in looping/recording tools. These songs are sonically dense, hugely dynamic, patiently-unfolding compositions possessing an ancient energy.
The fictional realm that serves as the beating heart and title of this record, deemed “the miraculous place,” is vast and worthy of exploration. It’s pungent with the scent of high fantasy, and contorted with a unique, grotesque darkness. The enveloping drones may feel suffocating initially, but take some time to absorb your surroundings, and beauty emerges. If you’re seeking dark, dynamically raucous composition, this album is for you.
– stasi (@stasisphere)