Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Review of Time to Cross Video - Elin Synnove Brathen


Norway has got it good these days. Not only has it escaped the world's recession and avoided the wobbly euro project, on top of all of this it seems to be a place brimming with exciting new music. 

Before I go any further with my review of the highly dramatic new video from Elin Synnove Brathen, let me declare my bias... I've met Elin on many occasions here in Ireland, and as we like to say, she's a good egg! Her work has impressed me for years - all her own material, songs that have been cooked up in a poetic mind and spiced liberally with a mix of pop and jazz sounds. It is utterly unique and effortlessly catchy. In fact, you might call her the thinking man's Diva. 

What makes Brathen so interesting is that her music is all at once both complex and accessible. This comes from an almost academic dedication to her craft that few others in the industry can match these days. A number of years ago she made several trips to Ireland to learn how to sing in the old Irish 'sean-nós' style. For those who may not be aware of what 'sean-nós' is, well, suffice it to say that it may just be the most ancient and complex form of individual singing that exists anywhere in the world! But no bother to Elin...

Her latest offering is the single, Time to Cross, a wonderful song about shedding the stone in the heart and delving deep into life. The song itself is a triumph and is accompanied by a video that is both dramatic and brave. 

The video was produced by Ole Idar Brathen and directed by Lars Nerdal, and is full of characters that are shedding their own stones and crossing their own rivers, from the blind beggar to the busker. All the while Elin and her group of musicians are to be seen as they stride their way down through the centre of Oslo in highly dramatic fashion! The video's talking point arrives towards the end when two scantily clad, massively built, men caress and tenderly kiss! Crossing their rivers indeed! The final scene follows Elin's character and her smooth looking lover as they wade through the deepest river to cross to the other side.
Well done to Elin and all the crew - the quality of music and film deserves a wide and enduring audience.