Bella Union – August 25th
If, like me, you’ve spent the past two years luxuriating in the grandiose, pop splendour of Susanne Sundfør’s last LP, Ten Love Songs, this empathetically-named follow-up might jar initially. Introspective, unguarded and tonally sombre, Music For People In Trouble finds the classically-trained, musical polymath reverting to singer-songwriter mode, to explore anxiety and awe in a frenetically-paced world. Gone are the glittering synths and taut percussion, giving way to wispy finger-picked guitar and sparse piano, perhaps supplemented by yearning pedal steel, as per ‘Reincarnation’. Though subdued, Sundfør’s arrangements are no less ambitious, offering up a spoken-word passages, and a fascinating, seven-minute epic called ‘Sound of War’, which shifts from flute-led folk to ominous, swarming strings, before fading into haunting, Vangelis-like electronics.