hanne hukkelberg

Album Review: Blood From a Stone - Hanne Hukkelberg

Hailing from Noway, Hanne Hukkelberg's latest album is a perfect soundtrack for the coming of spring, with the sounds of winter still in the background but a playing melodic side breaking through. It sounds like it was made in response to the later evenings we are seeing in the northern hemisphere, and in Blood From a Stone we have an album that begs to be consumed with a bottle of wine of a summer's eve.

Hukkelberg has declared Blood From a Stone her straight up rock album, and whilst many of the vocals were done in one take and there may be hints of death metal in the dread and foreboding of 'Salt of the Earth', to call this album "straight up" anything is to dramatically under-sell things. Inspiration may be taken from PJ Harvey, the Cocteau Twins and the Pixies but it is taken in the form of a desire to never repeat or be pigeon-holed as much as anything else.

Blood From a Stone takes musical inspiration less from other bands and more from nature itself. With the kind of kitchen-sink approach to instrumentation that sees many of Iceland's finest achieve such unique sounds (indeed Múm's in particular have become known for using whatever they can get their hands on), Hanne has utilised bicycle spokes, clogs, a Vaseline box, flag poles, train doors and seagulls amongst many other things to create a melodic sound all of her own.

The result is an album full of surprises - the title track, for example, has a beautiful catchy chorus and yet combines this with a wonderfully tactile and percussive backing - and every track does something a little different.  What makes Blood From a Stone wonderful is that all of these differing components slot together like something made to be together.

Blood From a Stone is released on Nettwerk on 20 April on MP3 and 12 May on CD.  Available to pre-order on Amazon (MP3  / CD).

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