Therese Aune is a dream pop sextet from Oslo, Norway centered around the singer/pianist Therese Aune. They released their debut album last November on Riot Factory Records. You may remember the name of that Norwegian label as being the home of many This is That Song alumni. Snøskred, Dråpe, Scarlet Chives, and Angelica’s Elegy. I love this little label, and you can expect to see more postings here about their family of artists. It’s enough, really, to make me want to learn how to speak (or at least read) Norwegian.
I first learned about the label via the mailbag about eight months ago, and I’ve become a big fan. Unfortunately, most of their physical releases are vinyl only and their distribution is meant for European customers. Even the digital offerings are hard to track down on this side of the North Sea.
While I can’t buy my own copy of the album, I can certainly admire it from afar, and if tonight’s song is any indication, it’s one of my favorite records that I can’t buy. The album, by the way, was produced by Icelandic producer Sturla Mio Þórisson, who has worked with the likes of Björk, Owen Pallett (aka Final Fantasy– who did a fantastic cover of Björk’s “Possibly Maybe”), and Will Oldham (aka Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billie).
Here’s tonight’s song, which I could listen to all night long:
“Vapid House” by Therese Aune
Her voice reminds me of something Californian, but I can’t quite place my finger on it. Simultaneously, because of the textures and the orchestral bits and the layering of the backing vocals, I’m reminded of the wonderful Danish indie folk/rock band Efterklang (who I will be seeing next week!).
I love the strings. The violin and cello bits are beautiful. Before it even gets to that, though, I’m sold on the xylophone. I’m a big sucker for tuned percussion, so that drew me right in. As it turns out, Aune isn’t just playing piano and singing. On this song, she also plays harmonium, some sort of zither, a toy piano, and some tuned percussion other than the xylophone. I don’t think that I noticed the harmonium the first time I listened, and that’s another thing that I fall for pretty easily.
Right at the end of the song, there’s a really fantastic bit with a musical saw. The deal was already sealed, but that bit just makes it much nicer.
If you’re going to SXSW, make sure you catch up with Therese Aune. I know that they’ll be there, but I don’t know how many shows they’re playing or where.
Listen to the song. Then listen again. And again. And then listen to it some more.