Silje Nes Ames Room

Silje Nes Ames Room
There was a point where home recording most often meant muffled instruments, faint vocals and a whole lot of tape hiss. Now, however, listening to Silje Nes’s Ames Room, it’s hard to believe that was ever the case. The home-recorded debut by this Norwegian multi-instrumentalist is anything but lo-fi, with Nes stamping the album’s 14 tracks with lush, inventive production that proves she’s as talented a producer as songwriter. Culled from three years worth of solo material, the disc’s drowsy symphonies take form via a wide assortment of instruments and electronics, ranging from guitars, xylophones and glockenspiels to found object percussion and glitch-y laptop whispers. With Nes’s calming vocals floating in and out, the varied instrumentation often takes the form of graceful, dreamy pop, with upbeat folk stomps and more abstract, introspective pieces scattered throughout. It’s a mix that hints equally at Hope Sandoval, Bad Timing-era Jim O’Rourke and Kristín Anna Valtýsdóttir-fronted Múm. And yet it also shows Nes standing out as a unique voice on the pop landscape, one that’s well worth following. (Fat Cat)