RR: The new Album “Earthbound” from Nadja Stoller is a journey through the night. It takes you over open fields and through dense undergrowth to an inescapable and inevitable place of introspection. That which is grounded takes off into dizzying heights, what is light weighs heavily, whilst delicacy is paired with a distorted roughness. It is grand and beautiful, disconcerting and painful, leaving you with the feeling that things will never be the same again. The solo artist Nadja Stoller seeks out discomfort, difficulty and challenge. After her Parisian hedonistic phase which resulted in the album ‘Alchemy’ (2011) the singer and multi-instrumentalist withdrew in the winter of 2012 to an isolated place far from human civilization, the kind of place that could be located equally in the volcanic deserts of Iceland, the wide open prairies of Alabama, or in an abandoned backwater in the French Alps. During her hermit-like seclusion she encountered all kinds of creatures. But above all she faced own depths and heights, and ultimately, the eternal question of human existence. Nadja Stoller let the words she acquired there mature over two years, gradually assembling them together with fragments of banjo, piano, keytar and autoharp, before finally recording her songs in collaboration with Samuel Baur in his studio in Bern. What has emerged is a creation of ten very different sounding fragile songs which draw an arc from the bittersweet “A Heart” over the unfathomable “Vertigo” to the flirty “Strawberry Passion”. These unconventional odes are enhanced in concert by Nadja Stoller’s at once elfin, then Amazonian presence. She layers sounds piece by piece on the looper in front of the audience, only in the next minute to bring everything crashing together. It is magical and surreal, yet at the same time down to earth and natural. You are left with the sense that, not far from Stoller’s isolated cabin you could meet a Björk, an Emmylou Harris or a Camille.
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