Christina Rosenvinge Foreign Land

It’s been a while since we’ve heard from this Spanish talent, but given the growth in her songwriting skills and ability to create an even more chilling effect through her vocals, it’s been worth the wait since her Frozen Pool debut dropped four years ago. Foreign Land still contains a lot of the same elements that made her previous work such a well-crafted pop composition, including the return of Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo and Steve Shelley. However, it’s the more ambitious use of a string section in the opening "Off Screen” that really makes you take notice. This effort is a tad more melancholy and toned down, which works well with Rosenvinge’s sleepy European vocals, especially the hypnotic vibes and xylophone of "Lost in D,” which actually rolls into a lovely carnival of sorts. "German Heart” shows this songstress at her most minimal, practically singing a cappella to what sounds like banging coconuts, but her voice reaches this fairytale pitch that works best with minimalism. Rosenvinge’s voice is very beautiful and her simplicity in crafting songs just makes her all the more adorable. There’s a sense of shyness and intimacy with the songs on Foreign Land, and the album’s quickness and bare-bones instrumentation just adds to a theory that Rosenvinge doesn’t want to reveal too much of herself, staying just below the surface. Still, with the powerful effect that upscale numbers like "Off Screen,” it would be nice to see her rise to a much higher level of performance. (Smells Like)