Hanne Hukkelberg Little Things

Norwegian Hanne Hukkelberg's music seems to come from an enchanted junkyard. She has so many ideas that she makes her own building materials in order to realise them all, reconstructing jazz, pop and rock using water, pots and pans, and plastic bottles. The construction glue is her soft, sticky voice, which holds her beautifully demented lullabies together like a sugar paste. Genres that have been throttled to death by the artless posturing of so many lounge lizards — jazz, electro pop — have been completely reassembled in fine working order thanks to Hukkelberg's magic touch. Like a musical alchemist, she coaxes beautiful melodies out of characteristically unmusical objects. Similar to Björk, Joanna Newsom or Kate Bush, she seems to live in her own vision. Her wicked resourcefulness combined with artistic ambition makes the label "esoteric" a mark of real accomplishment rather than a pejorative. Musical forms — pitch, genre, are melted and shape-shifted into something recognisable but gloriously different, leaving a sound that is familiar and obscure at the same time. Listening to tracks like "Hoist Anchor," you can hear the Norwegian landscape transformed into a plane of candied ice and cinnamon fire via glockenspiel and Theremin. Like pouring out the contents of her imagination in thimblefuls, Hukkelberg has made a masterpiece bit by bit by her genius and her wits, unfettered by technical limitations. (Leaf)