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coverpic flag Norway - Full Moon 236 - 11/25/15

Hanne Kolstø
While We Still Have Light
Jansen Plateproduksjon

'Hanne Kolstø rotates like a waterspout. Every year she sweeps past us with things she's picked up and put down on a record, so that we, the other people, get the feeling that we're standing completely still while she's going in slow circles.' (Jansen Plateproduksjon)

While We Still Have Light is the fifth part of Hanne Kolstø's musical album marathon bringing us five albums in five years! Can you believe it!? This must be the definition of 'ambitious', yes? One year after last year's Forever Maybe she clocks in with While We Still Have Light, which might be her best album so far. Even better than Stillness And Panic? It could be so.

Kolstø still roams the arena of dramatic, yet cool and chilled pop music. This is pop music far from being overloaded, yet here are rich instrumentation and nifty arrangements. Smart thing is, Kolstø does not exaggerate her pop songs. Well, in a way she does, but on the other side her songs come out perfectly dressed. Bright, sharp, smart pop. The fifth album in five years is solid gold. An over-ambitious project, way over the head for most people. Hanne Kolstø lands on both feet. 'Five albums. Five years of my life. Five years where the lyrics gradually have become more important, where I feel I've found out more about how I look upon life and people around me and myself in all this. Five years with many different emotions.'

While We Still Have Light starts with the spinning and swirling "Bordermind", before the eminent title-track unveils, being a majestic and powerful song. Yes, it is one of the best tracks on the album. "Only One" starts like a PJ Harvey song (early PJ, that is), before entering Kolstø's pop world. Again, another one of the better tracks off While We Still Have Light. "Mysterious" is a spinning, colourful, Team Me-esque song which also aims for one of the top three songs of the album. Maybe it goes all the way to the top, the very cool, discreet guitar "solo" part is delicious.

The piano ballad "This Town" is another fine song being one of the album's better ones. Hanne Kolstø by the piano is a fine way of experiencing her songs. "White Noise Static" is closing While We Still Have Light, and this is another swirling, yet quite calm pop song... before it starts to hover and circle again. Is this another goodbye? At least it's the final goodbye of the album - an album 'which is about goodbyes': '...the doubt before a decision, the doubt before you choose to break out of bad patterns, the doubt before you choose to leave a friend or a boyfriend, before you choose to enter a darkness, in the hope that maybe there's more light on the other side...' (Kolstø). For the fifth time she's been working/collaborating with producer (and musician) Øyvind Røsrud Gundersen (Rumble in Rhodos), while contemporary (classical) composer Eivind Buene has helped out with the string arrangements. Hanne and her helpers have created a magical mystery pop ride, with loads of hidden treasures and hidden secrets. Go check it out yourself.

Copyright © 2015 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Hanne Kolstø articles/reviews: Forever Maybe, Stillness And Panic, We Don't See Ourselves.

© 2015 Luna Kafé