01. The Glass Harp
02. Symmetry Of Empty Space
04. Silver > Blue
05. The Card House
07. The Shades
10. Hello Luminance
11. Ruby Red
Nearly a year and a half in the making, Opticks is a gently enchanting new record that – while once again home-recorded - dramatically upgrades Silje Nes’s sound and sees her making considerable advances on her acclaimed 2008 debut, Ames Room. Intricately constructed, warm and brimming with melodic hooks, Opticks is a record full of wonder, unfurling a series of increasingly accessible and catchy little songs.
Created between autumn 2008 and winter 2009, the album was mixed with Tarwater’s Bernd Jestram. More melodic and a little less experimental than her debut, its beautiful combination of sweet hooks and lush, intricate textural detail ensure that it’s a place to which listeners will want to return. Nes’s beautiful, breathy vocals are projected further forward in the mix than previously, becoming less another texture than a central focus for the whole, and bringing along a compelling new intimacy.
Orbiting around Nes’s unique vocals, are tracks constructed from a wide range of instruments and effects - guitars, drums, viola, bass, xylophone, electronics, keyboards, concertina, flute, trumpet, percussion and, as Nes puts it, “basically anything I have lying around, adding random recordings of things, video clips, effects...”
Despite - or, more likely, due to - this kitchen sink approach, Opticks is a coherent expression of Silje Nes’s lovely, forward-looking vision: engaging, delicate, and transformative.