The Norwegian multi-instrumentalist commands uniquely as an expansive persona.
All Photographs by Ekaterina Gorbacheva (@ekaterinagorbacheva.art) at the
El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles on April 30, 2022:
Last night, Sylvaine put an end to her first ever North American Tour — a momentous occasion for the trailblazing talent. The trek, which found her alongside Amorphis, Uada, and Hoaxed, allowed the Kathrine Shepard-led entity to shine stateside amidst a standout touring bill that offered much in the realm of melody, catharsis, and sonic breadth. It's here that Sylvaine excelled.
With this year's arrival of fourth album Nova via Season of Mist, Sylvaine's presence as a wondrous act of unfolding sensibilities was further established. Andy Julia's cover photograph for the record placed vulnerability at the forefront of the composition's driving force, a vulnerability that informed the moving soundscapes that harnessed from a myriad of musical history and emotional investment. Taking that into account, Nova's portrayal via the live setting would present itself as an immersive experience that welcomed us all to the heart of Norway's Kathrine Shepard. Having captured its magic at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles, we can confirm that Nova lives and breathes anew when placed face to face with its wonder.
Beyond it being a celebration of her latest effort, Sylvaine's setlist pulled from the standout Atoms Aligned, Coming Undone (2018) and Wistful (2016). Tracks like Delusions and Mørklagt lived anew beneath the lights and sparked a swaying motion among the crowd that was both infectious and endearing. The crowd was at ease and gazed into Sylvaine's presence with admiration. Black and white was the ideal editing route to take for this moody occurrence.
The melancholy of the Nova title track excels as a captivating intro that sets the tone for the delivery that awaits. It's gripping and you can't help but remain idle as the melodies seep into your mind. Mono No Aware then picks up the pace and astounds as a shoegaze laden gem. Though loosely categorized as blackgaze, Sylvaine express much more as Shepard's compositional background and rich influence injects itself into the craft. What was documented that night in LA was a fascinating endeavor that left a strong impression among the American crowd for a musician still on an upwards trajectory. We'd be remiss not to encourage the price of admission for any upcoming show, wherever that happens to be.
Enjoy a photo gallery of the Sylvaine, Uada, and Amorphis performances below and stream Nova HERE.