Out this week through FatCat Records, ‘Crystals’ is the first new material from acclaimed Norwegian artist Silje Nes since 2008′s Yellow EP. As an introduction to her forthcoming second album Opticks, out September 13, ‘Crystals’ suggests a slightly more structured form to Nes’s songwriting, a richer production palette and vocals treated less like an additional instrument and more like a real focal point. Where her home-recorded debut Ames Room was full of hushed, experimental and ephemeral beauty, Opticks looks like it might be a more purposeful, tangible collection – an album to be cherished rather than admired; Nes’s home recordings beautifully polished up in a studio with Tarwater’s Bernd Jestram.
Premiering here on Wears The Trousers, the beautifully shot video for ‘Crystals’ uses a mix of forward and reverse photography to create an intriguing visual treat. A demure costumed woman walks through the walls of an abandoned building – or buildings, with visual clues of a hospital, a prison, perhaps an orphanage or school – paint peeling in reams from the crumpling surfaces. In one room, a man in Mickey Mouse ears eats birthday cake; outside a woman lies asleep in the grass in the rain, water running backwards across her skin and up a tree trunk. Finally, the costumed woman returns to a sunlit attic nest, cocoons and crystallises.