Indie feather-like ode to remoteness
What once started as a collaboration between British musician Simon Would and Norwegian singer/songwriter Tuva Hellum Marschhäuser became Tuva’s solo project. As a duo, in 2017, the band released its first EP, Mess, which at its heart carried a vulnerable folk-pop sweetness that flourished beyond its lo-fi instrumental splendor and its somber, touching vocal layering, creating an organic sound considerably influenced by Bon Iver’s debut album, For Emma, Forever Ago.
Marschhäuser released her debut album, Soft Drop, in 2018, and although she does much of the heavy lifting by herself, she manages to capture the same stripped-back atmosphere that Tuvaband was all about from the beginning, blending lo-fi production and tattered emotion. Quite surprisingly, the album ends with a re-creation of No Doubt’s 90s high-school hit “Just a Girl” turning everything that was originally pop and carefree into a fragile and heartachey ballad. Tuvaband encapsulate the experience of isolation and reflection in a contemplative way, and sometimes more sentimental that needed. Other highlights are the title track, “Softdrop”, which takes on an alluringly gloomy effect, and “Puppetshow”, probably the most playful moment of the album, driven by a soft but confident progression. In Tuvaband’s world, there is too much heartache and raw emotion, not indulging in misery but rather in a soothing and calming manner.