Music For People In Trouble BELLA UNION. CD/DL/LP
Norway’s peerless platinum seller sets out her worries. “What is love but a frail little dream,” declares Susanne Sundfør on Bedtime Story. Next, Undercover begins, “Don’t trust the ones who love you, because if you love them back they’ll always disappoint you.” Music For People In Trouble’s predecessor Ten Love Songs was less pessimistic and underpinned by beats eschewed here. Recorded after travelling widely – including to North Korea – Music For People… is recognisably and sinuously hers. The instrumental building blocks of this powerful, often Eric Satie-esque suite are her piano, spine-chillingly malleable voice, pedal steel, flute, passages of electronic colour, snatches of field recordings, multitracked chorales and a dive into smallcombo jazz. Playing guitar for the first time, she evinces a yen for Latin fingerpicking. John Grant’s fleeting presence doesn’t distract from the seamless whole. Above all, the beautiful melodies matter. As striking as her career-defining 2010 album, The Brothel.