Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sumie: "Sumie" (album review)

Sumie is the forthcoming (out December 3rd) self-titled album from Swedish singer Sumie Nagano.  She's the sister of Little Dragon singer Yukimi Nagano.

Not to be confused with her sister's output, Sumie takes a more stripped down, dreamy acoustic approach.

With a voice that sounds like a warmer version of Hope Sandoval, it's easy to be seduced by Sumie.  She has a wistful and innocent quality that creates an intimate atmosphere, and makes you want to root for her.  "Midnight Glories", for instance, is so delicate it seems like the slightest breeze would make it crumble.

At times the album can be absolutely gorgeous.  Tracks like "Spells You" and "Never Wanted To Be" have a melody that mesmerizes.  "Show Talked Windows" is lovely and enchanting in it's simplicity.

Unfortunately, the boundaries Sumie has set to contain her music don't allow for much in the way of variation of dynamics.  Songs like "Hunting Sky", "Burden of Eden", and "Later Flights" are difficult to distinguish.  Moreover, the glacial pace of the record begins to wear on the listener, making it hard to devote one's complete attention.

Sumie is an artist that is capable of winning fans with her charm.  The songs on Sumie, however, don't always allow for that characteristic to work it's magic.

Best tracks: "Never Wanted To Be", "Show Talked Windows"

Track listing for Sumie:
  • Spells You
  • Never Wanted To Be
  • Let You Go
  • Hunting Sky
  • Show Talked Windows
  • Burden of Eden
  • Speed Into
  • Midnight Glories
  • Later Flights
  • Sailor Friends

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