Danish artist SIGNYR describes herself as being part of a “Nordic indie pop universe.” The current state of this universe is heavily defined by lots of electronica, vintage-meets-contemporary, mixes of pop, indie, and electronic styles, and unique synthetic sounds. In that past year, many Scandinavian artists released music that in some way falls into these characteristics.
SIGNYR cropped up last year with singles, “You’ll Leave” and “Wait,” and there’s no doubt that she fits right in with that Nordic universe. Her music is punctuated with beautifully blended synthesizers and heavy-handed beats, provided by drums but more often by electric guitar.
In fact, the electric guitar appears to be a favorite of SIGNYR. Each of her songs feature the instrument prominently, and usually in some unique way. That’s the beauty of it: it’s different in every song, but it’s always there. She gets creative with electric guitar sounds, allowing it to shine in between lyrics and in bridges, like the steady three-note melody in “You’ll Leave,” or the intricate blink-and-you’ll-miss-it riffs in “Drunken Reality.” The electric keyboard also makes a frequent appearance, and both instruments are often accompanied by some classic drumbeats, giving her music that indie pop sound. There’s an intimate collide of old school electronica that defined the 80s and 90s and contemporary electronica, effectively evolving the music into something new and open for interpretation.
SIGNYR sings with a powerhouse voice that doesn’t necessarily overpower but rather commands a space that’s all her own. Her vocals are warm and smooth while also striking. She’s quite versatile, being able to transition seamlessly from rich alto notes to a lightweight head voice and back again. She enunciates and produces every syllable with clarity, which contributes to the strength of her vocals.
In “I’m Alone,” SIGNYR features many of her iconic sounds but, of course, with an individualistic touch. The song begins with a riveting composite of electronic sounds, which then suddenly descends into a deep, resonating electric guitar melody. This melody emanates throughout the song in between lyrics, layered over a subtle keyboard tune. SIGNYR sings with her strong, warm voice primarily in higher tones. As the song progresses, it gently grows in intensity and volume both instrumentally and vocally, alongside the lyrics as they also progress from denial to acceptance.
The song paints the picture of a relationship, likely a marriage, falling apart. It’s a gradual falling, where the singer demonstrates a reluctance to give up or possibly even accept that there’s a problem.
I woke up with the recipe to follow
My breath a heavy sigh
The screaming from our broken minds
Was our last goodbye
The idea of following a “recipe” implies that they’ve become robotic in the relationship, attempting to salvage it by playing out a formula, but they are evidently exhausted by it.
I’m left with an empty bed
The sheets reveal the tenderness
But I’ll throw them out with my bitterness
I’m too young to hold on
She is finally letting go, both physically and metaphorically, by removing items that they intimately shared, and she realizes that her own sanity and happiness matters enough to let go. In the end she is able to let the flame die and move on.
I’m ready to say goodbye
Let the love between us die
I know it’s over
It’s a relatable tale of killing yourself to make something work that will never work and learning to give up for the better. As SIGNYR strives to “create a musical space for growth and empowerment,” “I’m Alone” certainly is a song to empower the multitude.