LISTEN: Susanna – ‘The Dancing Snake’

In a stunning and sorrowfully emotional unfolding it seems unjust to describe ‘The Dancing Snake’ the latest offering from Norwegian artist Susanna, as anything but a treasure.

Inspirited by the ghost of the late poet Charles Baudelaire (1821-67), Susanna brings the cynical gaze of a wandering civilian reflecting upon the universe around him to her majestic songwriting. With a captivating performance of dark, velvet-like piano, ‘The Dancing Snake’ and its shivering essence seems to rotate through the soreness of Baudelaire’s historic perspective.

Floating above the instrumental, Susanna’s voice emerges ‘The Dancing Snake’ to move in modern times with a fluttering vocal dreamscape that is anchored to the earth by its ringing chords and escapist lyrical content. Images from “I breathe the tang of the ocean / in the deeps of your hair”, to “my dreaming soul casts off and sets its course for distant skies”, take Susanna’s listeners on this strange fantastical journey where they are whisked away to hear the harmonious marriage between immaculate musicianship and storytelling.

‘The Dancing Snake’ is a skeletal arrangement of a tune that needs no more than itself. With early influences, from the earnest Bob Dylan to the more contemporary Mothers, Susanna has thrown her work into a blender – derived only from the best of folk, classical and art – and created an exquisite soundscape. ‘The Dancing Snake’ is an exhibition in itself, of impressionism and the pondering experience of being alive.

Baudelaire & Piano, the upcoming album from Susanna, is set for release 11th September via SusannaSonata.

Jill Goyeau

Photo Credit: Martin Rustad Johansen


LISTEN: Susanna – ‘Ecstasy X’

A cinematic soundscape haunted by a bewitching vocal: Norwegian artist Susanna‘s latest single ‘Ecstasy X’ is an unusual, beguiling listen. Taken from her upcoming album Garden of Earthly Delights (set for release on 22nd Feb via SusannaSonata) the track features church bells on a cassette, accordion, and heavily processed voices that claim ecstasy is only achievable if we follow the goddess of darkness.

Inspired by the surreal in medieval Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch’s artwork, Susanna has created a selection of experimental songs on her new album with the help of a team of musicians called the Brotherhood of Our Lady. These artists have worked their magic on ‘Ecstasy X’, intoxicating listeners with their subtle and strange sounds and concepts

Susana’s new work is a thought-provoking, considered listen that ensnares the senses and questions the pain and pleasure of being human. Listen to ‘Ecstasy X below and follow Susanna on Facebook for more updates.

Pre-order Susanna’s upcoming album Garden of Earthly Delights here.

Photo credit: Signe Fuglesteg Luksengard

Kate Crudgington

LISTEN: Susanna – ‘City Of Hope’

Norwegian artist Susanna has shared her new single ‘City Of Hope’ alongside the news she’ll be releasing her new album Garden of Earthly Delights on 22nd February via her own label, SusannaSonata. The track is inspired by the works of medieval Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch.

Bosch was hailed as an incredible “ahead-of-his-time artist”, and his artwork bears strong comparison with Susanna’s music. Bosch’s iconic images range from the panoramic to the intimate, and express bliss, torment and tortuous inner conflicts. Visionary, disturbing, spiritual; vivid images of darkness and light, good and evil, heaven and hell and the folly of mankind – Susanna uses Bosch as a template to construct her own art.

On her new record, she has enlisted the help of a team of musicians called The Brotherhood of Our Lady. Together, Susanna and her band have crafted minimal but meaningful sounds, and ‘City Of Hope’ is an exciting taste of what’s to come. Speaking about the track, Susanna explains: “‘City of Hope’ is a manic chant for guiding in love and life, with hints of ecstasy in the horizon even though something’s lurking in the undertow.”

Listen to ‘City Of Hope’ below and follow Susanna on Facebook for more updates.

Photo credit: Signe Fuglesteg Luksengard

Kate Crudgington

Track Of The Day: Susanna – ‘Perfect Day’

Norwegian artist Susanna has shared a beautiful interpretation of Lou Reed’s ‘Perfect Day’. It’s the third track to be shared from Go Dig My Grave, Susanna’s 12th album; a project between Susanna, Swiss baroque harp player Giovanna Pessi, accordion player Ida Hidle and fiddle player/folk singer Tuva Syvertsen. The quartet has reworked ten songs from seemingly disparate worlds of old English ballads, traditional American folk music, poetry, and interpretations of modern classics such as ‘Perfect Day’.

Susanna’s version is slow and ethereal, cutting to the emotional core of the song. It starts off like the soundtrack to a fairytale, with just her voice and the harp strings. As the song progresses, there is slight discord under the beauty, slowly introduced by the instruments. This expresses the alternative reality in the song; the sadness in the vagaries of life – “I thought I was someone new; someone good.” The evocative instrumentation behind Susanna’s voice artfully lifts and seduces, leading us to the moment of reflection in the finale, “You’re going to reap just what you sow.”

With an accompanying video depicting a Perfect Day between a couple on a winter’s day in Oslo before Christmas, this is the perfect song and video for a perfect moment in time, allowing us to pause and enjoy the people in our lives while they are still here with us. Lou Reed would approve of this haunting version of his eternal song.

Go Dig My Grave is out 9th February via SusannaSonata.

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