The Dancer Can Sing: Oh Land

I have not had the chance, or maybe just the time, to share my thoughts on Oh Land's latest album "Wishbone", despite the fact that I have been listening to it since the end of September when it came out. Well, there wouldn't be a better time for me to do so than this; especially since I just came back from Oh Land's concert at the Botanique in Brussels. (Where I also met up and chatted with her for a couple of minutes.)

One would expect the sound of this album to lean a bit more towards what's "hot" right now, that is; unexpected collaborations (not that I have anything against these), over-written, over-sung, superfluously orchestrated tracks, just to –you know– go with the flow. One could guess that she would have to employ such a stunt to maintain the momentum of her previous release which had a fairly significant success of enough gravity to establish her well on the list of the most watch-worthy independent (and scandipop) artists.

Well, apparently (but more importantly: fortunately) Oh Land, herself, wasn't thinking of taking the expected path. For Wishbone, she went with a sound and overall album "feel" that, although maintains all the right electronic elements, feels natural, unforced and (why not?) more organic. While her 2010 album "Oh Land" packed a punch both vocally and in terms of songwriting, "Wishbone" arrives to solidify the fact that miss Fabricius has, in fact, some serious lungs and knows exactly what she's doing.

I love the fact that "Wishbone" and Oh Land, for that matter, are getting the attention they deserve in the press. That and the fact that she seems to be innately enjoying all aspects of what she does. And that is something that was blatantly evident through the performance she gave at the Botanique last Friday: She joked with the crowd and didn't seem to get upset when her microphone kept failing to remain plugged. Not being able to "drop" her dancing past, (she used to be a dancer before an injury brought her dancing career to an end) she showed some serious moves between and during songs.

Despite the totally stripped-down setup Oh Land managed to deliver pure greatness, making clear that she is a fully fledged performer. Not that I had a doubt, really.

Oh Land performed live at the Botanique Salle de L'Orangerie, in Brussels, on November 15, 2013. Photography: Artémis Psathas