Album: Sonae – I Started Wearing Black
Sonae started wearing black some time ago – I’m not sure that’s a good thing but I defer to her right to do so – me, I don’t like black or wear it, except shoes for work. The negative connotations are obvious, although that aside, without a care for what it may suggest, black is popular, mainly in the office. People are lazy, knowing that anything goes with black. I understand. If your base sartorial colour is actually a colour, you have to work on the rest of the outfit. The problems of life…
Meanwhile, Sonae’s music on I Started Wearing Black is not quite as Dark as the title suggests, without being cheery either. Personally I’m wary of cheerful people. I think they must be a bit simple, but at the same time, envy (a little) their ignorance-is-bliss state of existence. I don’t know what shiny happy people listen to (Beyonce?), but it’s probably not this kind of music. Among the highlights is Dream Sequence (with Gregor Schwellenbach). Except there’s nothing ‘high’ about it; instead, a beautiful quasi-orchestral feeling of a half-remembered dream. On this and throughout, Sonae loads the track with atmosphere courtesy of concrete-type sound. She has mastered the art of texture to the point where it becomes an art form, as opposed to a cheap easy route to supposed ‘haunting’ auras, hauntology-by-numbers.
Thankfully, when she decides to use a beat, it doesn’t sound like a tokenistic nod towards feeling obliged to liven things up but, as in the case of the title track, an organic evolution, executed with taste. The stripped back metallic beat, when it comes, is even more effective on White Trash Rouge Noir. Quality product.