Haugesund, an idyllic small town by the Norwegian west coast in the mid-nineties. Susanne Sundfør likes growing up here. The astute ten year old’s favorite hangout is the library, for she loves to immerse herself in books. She also enjoys the cinema, and withdrawing to her parents little cabin with her dad's tapes of a-ha and Cat Stevens. Susanne is having piano lessons as well. Proudly she presented her first composition to her teacher. “She told me to learn the piano properly first.“
An episode, which 25-year old Susanne has had to re-tell again and again. So often in fact, that the pianist and songwriter –the early discouragement would not put her off eventually – has been quoted as saying; „I feel a bit sorry for her, because so many people have picked up on it. It was only a silly piano tune. I don't think she was really at fault.“
It is still a great way to introduce Susanne Sundfør, darling of the critics. The artist that collects awards as well as chart hits and about whom the national newspaper Dagbladet wrote: “Norways other young artists have to cry when they hear her, so far is she ahead of them.”
That daily newspaper is not exaggerating. We can hear that on The Brothel (2010). This is a record unlike any you have heard before. It is artistic. It is deep. It is ambient. It is exotic. It is brimming with tension. Piano-lines fight against and melt into woodwind to suddenly burst into industrial samples. We hear ensembles of strings and sounds from the hard drive harmonize with arabian harmonies (“Turkish Delight”) or choral hymns (“Father Father”). Above all this: Susanne’s voice. She is belting, she is soothing, wallowing, whispering and wailing. She always hits the perfect tone in this enchanted world of sound of hers.
The record has been a turning point for Susanne Sundfør, not only because it is the first to be released outside her home country. “I don't think I really decided that I really wanted to to dedicate my life to making music until I was 22, when i finished my last album. Before I wasn't sure if maybe I did want a normal job.” So Susanne would immerse herself even more deeply in the creation of her third album, collaborating with some of the biggest names of the Norwegian scene happy to lend a hand.