Tuesday, 3 April 2012


Artist: Soap&Skin
Album: Narrow
Release Date: 19/3/2012

Austrian singer- songwriter's second is a work of theatrical wonder

Recently, on a cold February night in a snow- swamped Berlin, the 2000 seater Volksbuehne theatre played host to an airing of Anja Plashg's soaring, grandiose verses in both musical and vocal virtuosity. Upon listening to her startleing second album "Narrow" it's not unreasonable to say that that is the PERFECT setting for Plashg's music, but that's not to say that it can't be enjoyed elsewhere, because that is certainly not the case.

"Narrow" is only 8 tracks long, but so much emotion, atmosphere and musical intelligence resounds throughout it that it's almost crafted like the soundtrack to a Shakespearian tragedy. "Vater" contains some bewildering piano playing from Plashg. Sung in German, the music does most of the emotional confrontation, especially halfway through when it takes a storming and dramatic turn, matched perfectly by Plashg's increasingly desperate vocals. On her cover of '80s synth- pop mysteries Desireless' "Voyage Voyage" her piano chords start off as solitary, cold and lonely beasts before they are joined by endearing orchestral manouvers. "Deathmental" is a petrifying shock to the nervous system with it's sudden stabs of post- industrial, rave- endorsed synths, whilst "Boat Turns Toward The Port" sees Plashg's vocals soar to new, near- operatic heights.

At almost every turn, whether it's through the music or vocals, Plashg employs some kind of dramatic effect to make these dark, smothering piano- lead ballads much more than they be would usually. From the deranged to the grandiose to the hopeful, Plashg has her finger on a wealth of ways to showcase emotion through music, and often enough she taps into them in beautiful style.

Download: 1) Vater, 2) Deathmental, 3) Voyage Voyage
For Fans Of: Zola Jesus, Perfume Genius


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