AM­BER AR­CADES

UNCUT - - New Al­bums -

HeAv­enly euro­pean Heart­break 8/10 Dutch dream-pop waif up­grades her mu­si­cal wardrobe

An­nelotte de Graaf’s 2016 de­but Fad­ing Lines was an agree­able as­sort­ment of plain­tive indie-pop con­fec­tions, but on this fol­low-up she seems to have her sights set a lit­tle higher. Es­sen­tially, songs such as “Oh My Love” and “Good­night Europe” are still mod­estly love-lorn, un­du­lat­ing acous­tic rever­ies, but the ar­range­ments – smoky, aro­matic brass, lan­guid or­gan, silky strings and sub­tle wisps of elec­tron­ica – now lend them a tran­scen­dent grace that re­peat­edly pricks up your ears. Her faintly punch­drunk voice some­times sounds just a kilo­joule of en­ergy (or lack thereof) from un­in­ter­ested, but just as of­ten she’s as win­somely weary as she is vul­ner­a­ble, and the im­pec­ca­bly stylish dec­o­ra­tion seals our se­duc­tion. Johnny Sharp

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