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Twisting mood and soaring vocals on Nótt’s ’Frost’

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“In Norse mythology, Nótt is night personified.”

Intriguing (thanks Wiki).

What’s also intriguing is an artist who doesn’t give out a whole lot of information about themselves, instead letting the music do the talking.

Nótt (real name Kate) is one of these. On her Spotify biography, she tells us she is “fiercely rooted in rock and roll” and cites PJ Harvey and Sonic Youth as influences. This can be heard clearly on the songs on her EP you only thought you were imagining it, apart from on the track “Frost” where she offers an electrifying delivery that ponders the end of the world and sounds more like a Bond theme than a 90s alt-rock song.

Some say the world will end in fire

Some say ice

From what I’ve tasted of desire

I hold with those who favor fire

As I said, intriguing.

Her voice soars frequently when she goes for the high notes, that hairs-on-the-back-of-your-neck feeling that makes you happy that the track is so long. I expected a build up that would explode and crescendo at the end but I was kind of wrong. There’s more layers to this track than you first imagine.

To begin with, a voice reminiscent of John Carder Bush on “Jig of Life” from Kate Bush’s seminal Hounds of Love album introduces the track with spoken word pondering on the fall of Eden.

Turns out it’s a poem by Robert Frost (nice touch… and every day’s a learning day!) Again, intriguing.

Then the singing starts over a moody, atmospheric backing of steady drums, synth strings and keyboards and you feel, you desire, that explosion from the voice and it seems to be on its way, judging by the icy delivery of “fire” at the 2.45 mark.

But at 3 minutes the track jumps to a completely different place.

The searing emotion pauses for acoustic, bass and keyboard riffs to jump all over a beat that is now going double time with bongos and feels suddenly like a 1970s TV theme tune favourite like The Persuaders. And then Nótt starts to sing again.

On my first listen I’ll admit I was a little disappointed at the break. I thought the track was so atmospheric and that voice so hypnotising that I didn’t want it interrupted. Now, after a number of listens, I can see the sense in stopping the track from simply doing the same thing over and over into infinity.

From about the 4 minute mark, strings interrupt the drums and create a heady confusion of sound that brilliantly masks the moment about 20 seconds later when the singing and the drums revert back to how they were originally but with Nótt’s voice even more urgent, more wrung than before, like a heartbroken 60s torch singer, and we reach that crescendo of sorts that I was craving earlier.

And even then we are not done. For the last minute, Nótt finally gets to let out some fuzzy guitar riffing whilst still singing with all that she’s got:

Most diffuse to cloud

Not all light tongues talking aloud

Could be profound 

It feels profound to me. Profound, epic, moving, and yes, intriguing.

Not only that, “Frost” feels daring whilst taking familiar elements and gently bending them to suit a wholly original track.

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ONCE A WEEK.

A Spotify Playlist With Good Music.

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