Carmen Villain photo by Signe Luksengard.


After the icy drone of her atmospheric opus “Dissolving Edges” appeared on A Little Night Music: Aural Apparitions from the Geographic North, Carmen Villain returns with Perlita, the ninth installment of the label’s Sketch For Winter series.

Villain, born Carmen Maria Hillestad, is an Oslo, Norway-based former model-turned full-time musician, who caught the world’s attention with the lilting avant-garde pop of her 2017 album, Infinite Avenue. Perlita, named in homage to Villain’s grandmother who lives in Puebla, Mexico, forges a much deeper path of sedate bliss, spherical rhythms, and instrumental beauty. It’s also built around a theme of hibernation and reemergence. Throughout the tape, songs such as “Everything Without Shadow,” “Two Halves Touching,” and “Light In Phases” take shape with a stylishly hushed approach that’s too well-composed to be called experimental music, and too abstract to draw any other concrete pop comparisons. Each number indulges in a deep-listening exploration of electronic drones, textures, and resonance itself as a musical instrument.

On the B-side, “Agua Azul” builds around Johanna Scheie Orellana floating flute melody, guiding dissonant rhythms, bringing this aural cycle to a fine point.

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