Swedish artist Luna Green doesn't adhere to the general formula of modern music when approaching the craggy and often-altered pop states of her own influences. She looks for loosely woven associations and brazen melodies that obscure as much as they reveal. Owing much to the pop-electronic hybrid sounds that artists like FKA Twigs and Massive Attack have perfected, she discovers that there are varying shades of truth and repression to be found within pop's verdant countryside. And she uses these emotional touchstones to further explore the degrees of commonality between the warped language of her own work and the communicative nature of modern pop music.
On her new single, "Little One" (written, recorded and produced by Green in Stockholm this past winter), she disappears altogether into a dark pop void where she emerges only to share the shadows and memories that cling to her music. Like her previous single, "Lotus Interception," she's flirting with darker pop instincts, but here, she completely submerges herself in a trap-influenced landscape of inky synths and caustic beats that provide a platform for her gorgeous and ethereal vocals. The music seems to crawl along your spine, connecting with thousands of small appendages, creating a melodic hum and shuffle as it works its way to your brain.
What really impresses, though, is her ability to reorient our pop expectations—because this is pop, make no mistake. It's just been pitched, dissolved and covered in a viscous rhythmic residue. The shotgun beats that burst from the background at odd intervals provide a necessary momentum, while ghostly harmonies circle and entangle themselves within Green's stark theatricality. She's able to capture a weighted emotional release through these layered sounds and presents a decidedly staticky pop atmosphere where she implores her listeners to become inextricably snared in their own perceptions of time and experience. The song feels slightly dangerous but also rapturous in its reckless creativity.
Joshua Pickard covers local and national music, film and other aspects of pop culture. You can contact him on Facebook, Twitter or by email. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.