The self-titled EP of Norweigan singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Kari Jahnsen – or Farao – is four tracks of compositions by the singer, who also plays all instruments except for drums, played by Magnus Eliassen. Claiming to take influence from Sigur Ros and Radiohead, their moods come across on this effort.
‘Tell a Lie’ begins the EP, with simple acoustic guitar sequences and drum patterns giving extra emphasis to Farao’s lyrics, appropriate for the sense of desperation behind lines such as “After what you made me go through, I would kneel and I would cry”. The title repeated at the end of the song is accompanied by subtle delay effects that add more to the general soundscape of the music.
Next is Farao’s first released song ‘Skin’, more up-tempo and showing the higher end of her vocal range. The suspenseful vocal harmonies lend themselves well to the “and now you can’t go back again” refrain that ends the track.
This is followed by ‘The Hours’, which has a more conventional singer-songwriter approach to guitar and some vocal layering, showing her more subtle use of harmonies as backing vocals as she sings her main melodies.
The final track is ‘To Sleep Apart’, the EP’s most interesting offering, samples combining with guitar chords to great effect. Where the first three tracks show that Jahnsen is a more than competent songwriter, it is this track that makes her stand out and hints at an interesting future.
Overall, this is an album that, with a melancholic mood running throughout, shows that whilst Farao hasn’t reached her full potential yet, there is a great deal of talent here that will surely grow into something special.