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Radar Reviews: Judith Haustein (feat. MC BNZ) – ‘Freeze’

Channeling the likes of Bjork, Fiona Apple and The Weather Station with her unbridled blend of intimate alternative folk and soundscape building, the genre-fluid artist Judith Haustein has created ‘The Flood’, a project that aims to become both elegant and tempestuous, encapsulating her listeners in an enveloped sound of beautiful nature-centric forces and brighter, more melodic backdrops.

Exploring Jazz influences, contemporary trip-hop production, relaxed percussion and stylish vocal harmonies on the album – which was self-produced by Haustein and featuring guest contributions from various musicians of different disciplines brought together across London, Berlin and Stuttgart.

She says, “I take a lot of inspiration from extreme landscapes and being by the sea – also most of the songs are connected to what trauma victims experience emotionally when trying to reconnect with the world.”, in her press release about the creative project, which is a concept album – at its very core. These main themes and influences are punctuated by the sound of ‘Freeze’ – the leading single.

Beginning with an intro that mimics the washing waves of the ocean with an acoustic, folk-ish set of instrumentation that introduces the melancholic Cello strums and the abraded guitar chords to her avant-garde soundscape, Haustein observes nature from a lyrical standpoint and compares the characteristics of her environment to her own search for a soul. She lays out an intimate and mostly acoustic backdrop to explore her identity, with dejected vocals and stripped back production that features some glimmering guitar riffs and some lightly squelching electronic instrumentals that appear briefly into the picture before floating away at a brisk pace again.

It never feels too unfocused, however, with raw vocals and subtle percussion that complement the whimsical sound of the cello melodies and the lightly psychedelic, dream-like philosophy of the overall sound of the finished piece. The synths waver and hover as we head to the end, encapsulating the namesake of ‘The Flood’ with the energy of extreme weather events.

Overall, this is a very cathartic piece from Judith Haustein that clearly takes influence from her heroes, and you could definitely have pictured Bjork writing ‘Freeze’ for a place on her ‘Biophillia’ workshop album from 2011 in an alternate universe. The Hip-Hop feature spot from MC BNZ felt a touch out of place and so your own mileage may vary on that section personally, but the rest was a naturally raw and enjoyably unbridled outlook on how the world often works around us and connects with our own emotions with Haustein’s clear, compassionate voice stealing the show.

Words by Jacob Braybrooke

Praise For Judith Haustein

“Judith can create oceanic landscapes” – Manchester Music Review

“Judith sings directly to you and the incredible production creates a soundscape to envelope you in her sound” – Songwriting Spotlight

Connect With Judith Haustein

Visit The Website: https://www.judithhaustein.com/

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