OUR BROKEN GARDEN: Lost Sailor (Bella Union)


Posted on Jun 12th 2008 09:41 pm

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Our Broken Garden: Lost Sailor

Lost Sailor
Bella Union 2008
06 Tracks. 19mins34secs
Format: CDS/Digital

In the light of her recent live performance at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, on London’s South Bank, when she opened for Efterklang, it is quite fitting that Anna Brønsted’s Our Broken Garden has been signed to Simon Raymond’s and Robin Guthrie’s Bella Union. Indeed, thanks in part to dense guitar textures, some of her set was very reminiscent of the Cocteau Twins circa Victorialand and the collaboration they did with Harold Budd on The Moon And The Melody.

Brønsted, who is currently touring as part of Efterklang’s band, originates from Denmark and shares with a handful of other Scandinavian artists a taste for delicately assembled melodies, sparse atmospheric soundscapes and melancholic compositions, her work finding itself especially close to the ethereal volutes of Susanna Wallumrød’s Magical Orchestra. But where Wallumrød and Morten Qvenild operate on a diet of electronic textures wrapped around mournful piano drapes, Brønsted’s work is more conventional, flourishing from a piano, guitar, bass and drums formation.

The EP opens with the gentle warm waves of The Blinding, which, after a somewhat traditional intro, reminiscent in part of Aqualung’s Strange And Beautiful, slips into a more restrained first verse, but as the chorus looms, the music swells again and finally breaks into a stunning heart-wrenching melody, rendered even more poignant by the rich orchestration serving it. Visible To You, which follows, is a more restrained song, but once again, the subtle combination of Brønsted gentle vocal and lyrics with her beautifully crafted melodies and arrangements contribute to making this a strong composition.

The rest of the EP continues on very similar grounds, with the beautiful title track proving another moment caught emerging from a delicate early morning mist and developing into a restrained yet powerful ballad. The stunning brushes of cello on Ashes accentuate the mournful tone of the piece, yet elegant violin drapes lift the mood for a moment. The cello is present throughout, more noticeably on Visible To You, and contributes greatly to the rich soundscapes developed here.

If Anna Brønsted has worked quite extensively with Efterklang in the last year, she has opted for a more conventional sound than that of her fellow Danes here, but it serves her songs and vocals rather well. The pace is slow and the mood subdued, subtle arrangements curl around unassuming melodic motifs, creating a wonderfully effective and evocative record, and a promising teaser for Our Broken Garden’s forthcoming debut album.


Our Broken Garden (MySpace) | Bella Union
Buy: CD | iTunes

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