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 Susanna Shares New Single “Elephant Song” Taken From New Album “Meditations on Love” out August 23rd via SusannaSonata

June 12, 2024
Photo credit: Ida Fiskaa


Shares new single “Elephant Song”
Album ‘Meditations on Love‘ out August 23rd via SusannaSonata

Celebrated Norwegian singer and composer Susanna will release her new album, Meditations on Love, on August 23rd via her own label SusannaSonata. After recently sharing single “Everyone Knows”, today Susanna is sharing the second single from the record “Elephant Song”. 

On the track, Susanna said “‘Elephant Song’ is an ode to being in process; to struggle, to stumble, being in doubt, feeling vulnerable, but to keep on going. All we have is here and now. Highly inspired by the Ethiopean pianist Emahoy Tsege Mariam Gebru, and the first song I made on my new piano (a Steinway from the sixties which I totally emptied by savings account to buy).”

Together with Susannas vocals and sparse piano-lines, gorgeous saxophone by Harald Lassen, and in the last part of the song kettle drums, synthesizers, and string-heaven by Sarah-Jane Summers. The cover is a vibrant illustration by the artist Ingrid Torvund, who has also made the cover art for the album.

Susanna has this profound ability to produce these far-reaching soundscapes that lift the listener to new heights, transporting the audience to this imaginative world curated by this wondrous artist. Through the flittering saxophone creates these loose trails through the immersive landscape, joined by the rhythmically leading piano keys. Two essential textures form the elevating structure of this intoxicating release which is supported by the compelling vocal harmonies of Susanna, the lyrics are personal and raw and the harmonic range reflects the fragility of the words. Susanna moulds this moving composition that allows tender traits and sparse notes to collide, a world so easy to embrace. A voyage which offers dynamic twists and sincere melodies whilst the song title reflects the cadence of the pattern embedded into the ensemble, mirroring that of an Elephant’s trunk.

Having spent five years writing material, Meditations on Love reflects the complexities and difficulties of maintaining love. So many songs celebrate the giddy joy of a new connection or lick the wounds from a break-up, but Meditations on Love explores what happens in between, examining the work required by a healthy relationship and contemplating the conditions that turn love into something toxic. Susannaʼs mastery of balladry is well documented, but on Meditations on Love, she introduces a rhythmic presence new to her work. The result is one of Susannaʼs strongest and most dynamic recordings of her career.

Across a career spanning two decades, Susanna has been a creator of bold, original and enrapturing music, capable of building worlds to lose yourself in. She has collaborated with an astonishing array of musicians such as Jenny Hval and Bonnie ʻPrinceʼ Billy. Her rapturous, honeyed voice has thrived in a variety of contexts, whether accompanied by her own piano playing or a full orchestra. In many of these cases, Susanna entered each recording situation with elaborate arrangements intact and an ensemble fully rehearsed. The studio always served its purpose to get those sounds on tape. But with Meditations on Love, the studio became a crucial tool of exploration.

“With Meditations on Love, I wanted to bring my songs and music into a new landscape. And I knew I had to find someone new to work with on the production to do that, so that I could be pushed in other directions,” says Susanna. She turned to Juhani Silvola, a Finnish-Norwegian producer and musician who moves easily between pop music, experimental sounds, and folk traditions. Susanna and Silvola gathered hours of material created spontaneously in the studio, assembling new arrangements as if putting a giant jigsaw puzzle together. At times the songs summon the sound of American maverick composer Harry Partch as channeled by Tom Waits. Other times the album pays homage to Angelo Badalamentiʼs iconic Twin Peaks or invokes the indelible spirit of vintage Ethiopian soul.

Working with engineer Marcus Bror Forsgren at Studio Paradiso in Oslo, Susanna and Silvola turned to a small ensemble of trusted musicians to contribute. The evolving arrangements fill each song with sonic surprises, a little bass clarinet phrase there, a haunted violin shimmer there, all gone as rapidly as they appeared. While Susanna and Silvola built the core of the songs with an arsenal of keyboards, tuned percussion and programming, many of the details were introduced by their sublime collaborators. The snaking strings of Sarah-Jane Summers and the silken, rippling reeds of Harald Lassen and Morten Barrikmo bring texture and color to each tune. Drummer Dag Erik Knedal Andersen of the acclaimed post-bop quartet Cortex laid down the bedrock beats for several of the songs, while experimental percussionist Ane

Marthe Sørlien Holen of Pinquins and Ensemble Neon contributed a magical carpet of sounds both percussive and timbral, expanding the soundscape with a veritable encyclopedia of extended techniques. No Susanna recording has offered such rich variety.

Mediations on Love tracklist:
1. Everyone Knows
2. Big Dreams
3. Leave Behind
4. I Took Care of Myself
5. Black Heart
6. Elephant Song
7. Battles
8. A Swallow
9. Where Has the Love Gone
10. I Was Never Here


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