Susanna: Flower of Evil

Expectations are high as one of the rarest new voices in jazz readies a new record for release. Susanna Wallumrød's second solo album, Flower of Evil, is out on October 20th.

Susanna Wallumrød (2008)

Susanna Wallumrød has earned international acclaim for her interpretations of what has been called difficult classics from the catalogues of rock. Her voice, with its golden timbre of deep solitude, and the minimal arrangements seem to always unearth hidden aspects of the songs in question. Susanna exposes the interweaving relationship that exists between irresistible beauty and inconsolable loneliness. Her interpretations seem to always disclose the unexpected loveliness of a crowd pleasing rock anthem, of the innate anxiety in seemingly superficial pop tunes. Her own compositions reveal the same touch of the essential; her songs are like eyes that see in a darkness where most others are blind.

Susanna and the Magical Orchestra, the unit consisting of Susanna and keyboardist Morten Qvenild, has been the young Wallumrød’s primary musical vehicle so far. Their eponymous debut from 2004 soon drew attention abroad and word of Susanna’s special voice and the sublime songs and arrangements spread quickly. Most of the tunes were by the written by the duo, but the cover version of Dolly Parton’s Jolene was perhaps the track that caught most people off-guard. The sophomore Melody Mountain came in 2006. An album of cover versions exclusively, it explored further the debut’s special touch for surprising reinterpretation of unexpected songs.

Then, last year, came Susanna’s first solo outing Sonata Mix Dwarf Cosmos, which featured twelve of her own compositions. Again it was the hushed intensity and sometimes sinister beauty the constituted the basic motif of her music.

Judging from the two previous records one might be led to believe that the magical orchestra was the format for the special covers while Susanna would let her solo project focus on her own compositions. However, the upcoming second solo album entitled Flower of Evil upsets this logic: The record, which will be released on October 20th, features ten cover tunes and two new Wallumrød compositions. Again the selected songs are of the kind not first thought of when the issue is hushed jazz interpretations: The track list is as follows:

1. Jailbreak (Phil Lynott)
2. Can´t shake loose (Russell Ballard)
3. Who knows where the time goes (Sandy Denny)
4. Vicious (Lou Reed)
5. Without you (Prince)
7. Joy and jubilee (Will Oldham)
8. Janitor of lunacy (Nico)
9. Changes (Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Bill Ward)
10. Wild is the will (Susanna k. Wallumrød)
11. Don´t come around here no more (Tom Petty, Dave Stewart)
12. Goodbye (Susanna k. Wallumrød)
13. Forever (Roy Harper)
14. Lay all your love on me (Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus)

Will Oldham contributes backing vocals on Jailbreak and Without you, while the rest of the line up consists of Helge Sten (Supersilent) on guitars and Pål Hausken (In the country) on drums.

Susanna on tour:

4 Oct 2008 Rakuya/Naka-Meguro Tokyo
5 Oct 2008 Pit Inn/Shinjuku Tokyo
7 Oct 2008 Heidelberg Enjoy Jazzfestival Heidelberg
8 Oct 2008 Scene Victoria Oslo
17 Oct 2008 Volksbad Jena
18 Oct 2008 Porgy&Bess Wien
19 Oct 2008 Flottmannhallen Heme
25 Oct 2008 Whelan´s Dublin
9 Nov 2008 Sarajevo Jazz festival Sarajevo
16 Nov 2008 London Jazz festival London

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