For a debut production, part of which was recorded in a bedroom closet, Melankton (Norwegian for black rose) comes across as an incredibly bold, spirited, and well produced album. Also quite impressive is the fact that it was completely written by Kate Havnevik, even the string section pieces, which were eventually performed by the Bratislava Symphony Orchestra.
How is such a impassioned album born? By age 13 Kate was composing piano pieces of her own. At 14 she decided to chart a different course as the guitar player for an all female punk rock band. Put the two together and you get Melankton.
Almost immediately upon hearing Kate's voice, you are reminded of another Scandinavian beauty - Bjork. Even looking at her picture one can see an uncanny resemblance between the two. Although the two voices carry similar hints, Kate's voice loses some of Bjork's childlike charm, instead conveying a more mature note.
Backing up Kate's crystalline voice is a sometimes soaring, sometimes dramatic, lush orchestral sound that weaves in and out of electronic effects without any sense of unnaturalness between the two (much like Moby) and indeed is danceable at some points.
Look for the complete album, which is due out March 27th. In the meantime, enjoy the following morsels:
Kate Havnevik - Unlike Me : Melankton
Kate Havnevik - Kaleidoscope : Melankton