Silje Nes Opticks

Silje Nes Opticks
It's usually the classically trained musicians that make the most noise. It may be her learned musical restraint or simple understanding of modes, but Leikanger, Norway's Silje Nes's sophomore release, Opticks, demonstrates the pure ease with which this classically trained pianist can create evocative moods and ethereal themes. Utilizing myriad instruments (viola, concertina, xylophone, flute, etc.) over 11 heavily textured tracks, Nes's modest, mousy vocal delivery just adds more Coffee-Mate to her percolated homebrew. The spacious, needy soundscapes behind fittingly titled songs like "Symmetry of Empty Space" and "Levitation" show Nes's instrumentals conforming where most would choose to contort. Opticks is not the most original sounding album, especially in 2010, where artists like High Places, School of Seven Bells and Lykke Li are crafting the same sounds. But Silje Nes offers just so much more blooming personality and poise than your average dream popper. This is another reason to get your kids in piano classes. (Fat Cat)