Pieces of Juno releases the latest section of her split album, Tecenda, on KOSO records. The Waveform Transmitter’s Andy Weights samples the haunting beauty of the Norwegian artist’s latest long-player.
As the haunting sound of Pieces of Juno seeps out of my stereo and falls around the room like spilt liquid on glass I’m immediately transported into a dark, jazzy world of ambient electronica.
This new collection of songs is called Tacenda and is the second part in a jigsaw of conceptual pieces written, produced and mixed by Pieces of Juno herself. Recorded in a studio garage in Oslo, a marble house on a Spanish coast, a converted church turned studio in a Swedish village and a glass castle in Hollywood.
Known for her distinct dark flavour and combination of acoustic and electronic, she likes to call her music Northern Noir, a genre-bending array of haunting melodies, vocal emotion and sonic eeriness.
Pieces of Juno or Juno Jenson has certainly been busy, self-releasing the debut EP Ghostwriting in 2013, an experimental and instrumental take on club music, gaining a large round of applause from critics, an instrumental EP trilogy concluding with Frisson EP in 2015 and the first part of this album series Kalopsia. Not to mention also being the initiator & co-founder the of the KOSO label.
Now, we hear the brave Nordic songstress take it to the next level with moments of ethereal, shadowy greatness. Songs such as Everything disappears that crashes in with stark distorted guitar waves, hypnotic piano plucks keep simple company with a vocal that begs to “forget about the feelings you have”. A Portishead ethereal style track that mixes it up with samples of grinding atmospherics like the sharpening of knives reminding us that somewhere in the darkness our imaginations can roam more freely.
Tuck Me In is another piece of dark suggestive art that leaves me feeling unsettled and disturbed, long airy vocals alongside macabre organ and string sweeps with a haunting bell and the sound of that familiar, dramatic, distorted guitar strum.
What a track Look to you for love is, which brings in touches of PJ Harvey with scratchy guitar and triumphant vocal production with an eerie Theremin/synth melody line over intricate drum paces and great chord progressions.
Album opener Wild Flower is the perfect introduction to a such a collection of songs, building the tension with subtlety and a certain sensitivity. Finger clicks imply a personal interaction about to happen and a simple electric piano share the stage with stereo vocals that create a sense of a paranoid shadow falling you.
Wallflower Intermezzo brings back the jazz finger clicks, a distant, relaxed feel that distracts from the deep colour of the tracks that surround it. A far lighter-feeling vibe that brings cymbals and melodic guitars sweeping around the vocally decorated space with murmurs of joy and light-headedness. Which leads us to Jump, a song that sits as an uncomplicated and simple vehicle to transport a message. “Love is an abortion.” Told you this woman was dark.
Finally, we have Wash it Away which feels again like a different side of her musical personality. Like the shedding of skin, she can shape-shift her emotional sound to move on and not become stale or stagnant which can be hard when tackling issues as dark as some of the ones presented on this wonderful album. We are new fans and will keep our ears out for future releases.
Tacenda by Pieces of Juno is released through the impressive artist led KOSO label and is available on digital now.