The softest sounds often have the strongest impact. They require a level of concentration and skill to create and a certain willingness to listen to. There can be something striking about a flit of piano keys and a smoky, understated voice, nonetheless. ‘Baby Hallelujah’ by Konradsen is able to conjure visceral emotion without ever needing to ramp up the decibels.
The Oslo, Norway-based duo is made up of Jenny Marie Sabel and Eirik Vildgren. They produce the kind of bedroom pop that stirs you. Four months ago, they released their first single ‘Never Say A’. That track, with its similar Sufjan Stevens-esque haunted piano direction, got the internet flapping. Now they’ve returned with two more pieces of sound, ‘Cosmic Kid Vibration’, made up of a conversation, and ‘Baby Hallelujah’.
Sabel’s vocals are at the center of ‘Baby Hallelujah’ and are surrounded by sparse piano and atmospheric production. It is her voice that provides the emotional baseline. It raises from its smoky floor to a lilting falsetto, and when it combines into a chorus with Vildgren, it rings. Soft becomes strong and good turns righteous.
Sabel strings together diverse, everyday images and juxtaposes them with the celestial. Rows of knots and bottles follow utterances about a death; “Friends came, crossing early in the rain” is placed in front of “who am I to judge”, and “kings don’t feel anything” ensues. It paints a picture of something both of this earth and not. “Did I slip my way into God’s grace?” she wonders towards the end of the track.
Konradsen delivers tangible emotion with ‘Baby Hallelujah’. There is an immediate impact and feelings rise. There is a courage to it. Images flash as they are placed against heavenly words helping to create a song that exists outside of time or place, but, nonetheless, feels reachable. There is something brutal about the scattered ivory patterns and ethereal choruses of ‘Baby Hallelujah’ that fills it with grace.
HURRY – BUY – KONRADSEN MUSIC