Anti. Released 28th April.
Broken Twin has been a favourite of mine since I first heard Copenhagen's Majke Voss Romme's debut EP Hold On To Nothing in the midst of summer 2013, four tracks which beguiled with an affecting intimacy and genuine emotion. Her debut full length May is no different, an outstanding collection of uncluttered and introspective tracks full of haunting beauty with different shades of light, dark and desolation.
Naming May my album of 2014 is easy, it's by far my most played record of the year and it's the record I have turned to over and over again. Not once has it let me down. It is truly a stunning record. Beautifully sad but reflective and cautiously optimistic too. It's an album that deserves to be shared around by those who discover it.
"Sun Has Gone" was the first track I heard from the album, it gives newcomers to Broken Twin a brilliant, darkly indication of what to expect. Stark, spine-tingling music and emotional devastation through tender piano chords and Majke's arresting voice, her voice is always a highlight, undeniably beautiful it has this wavering quality that makes you hang onto her every word and delivers emotion in a way that leaves you gasping for air.
For an album that hits you in the gut time and time again, "Soon After This" hits harder than most, sparse piano chords build to Majke's repeated cries of "Do you care?" chilling in vulnerability and intimacy. Similarly "Glimpse of a Time" is guided by soft, uncluttered instrumentation, never more than an understated accompaniment to lyrics that leave your emotions teetering on the edge. If you can listen to Majke sing "What was I but a glimpse of time? Time, in your life" and not well up over lost memories, well you are a stronger person than I.
There's few better songs than "Out of Air" been released this year, piano twinkles and intense emotions that build with orchestral flourishes but it's bettered by the phenomenal "In Dreams", which builds with piano chords once again at the core to an evocative, dramatic conclusions filled with tension-laden violin and distorted vocals.
"Roam" is one of the most ambitious tracks on the record, forceful percussion and echoey synths strike with evocative depth whilst the sparing "If Pilots Go To Heaven" ekes out further depths from her vocals with lyrics that will genuinely move you.
"No Darkness" is May's closing track, a tender and touching moment that lets light and optimism shine through after ten tracks of resigned longing and, at times, outspoken despair.
Where May's opening track "The Aching" finishes on the reflective "Nobody wants to belong somewhere in between what you wanted and what you didn't want" here Majke Voss Romme opens with the more hopeful "Today I’ll cut the flowers, I will walk for hours, I will breathe in all that grows, now that spring is coming and the sun will shine".
Throughout her vocal is pure, full of strength and clarity amongst always restrained instrumentation and sparkling string flourishes, so beautiful is the track, that by the time you reach the repeated ending of "There will be no darkness, I will fill your space with light and it looks like hope" you almost believe it.
May is my album of 2014, if you haven't discovered it yet, you really are missing out.