Carnival Theatrics of the Darker Kind
Having released a few separate stand-alone singles last year following her excellent 2016 release “Entering the Ozone”, Helga Arvesten brings her emotional quirky brand of indie pop back again with her new EP “I’m Here”. It continues to emphasise her powerful and emotive voice that can soar and cry out with roars of angst whilst continuing to expand her unique take on indie pop.
The first track “Next To You” is a broody mash-up of ABBA like ballad theatrics and some kick ass note bending synths. The entire track revolves around the state of confusion of being in love with someone but realising they might not be quite as all in as you’d hoped. I really like how the lyrics and the conflicting themes bleed over into the music that has on one side a carnival funfair of innocence with the synths, whilst dramatic drums and rolling pianos matched with Helga’s voice really make it clear things aren’t OK on the other side. “I’m Here” moves the theatrics to synth orchestras and thick pianos that let Helga’s taut vocals breathe and carry the track along. It’s actually the closing track “What You’re Made Of” that see’s Helga Arvesten really merge all her ideas together to their highest potential. The track is dramatic, with big tom drums smashing and with all the electronic glitching, synths and guitars pushing a gothic carnival undercurrent along – there’s a perfect sweet spot that she hits that feels like everything clicks in a witchy way.
Dramatic, fraught and tense – but not at 180 beats per minute – Helga Arvesten is carving out a great niche in the indie-pop world for her theatrical tunes to live in. This EP is a great gateway to her work as an early adopter and I’m really keen to see where she goes in the future for her next LP.