Birte Paulsen - Borrowed Time - Stereo Stickman

Birte Paulsen Borrowed Time


This is something that will, at the very least, remind you that there is real, raw, unaffected and alternative music out there, among the somewhat messy and often regurgitated ocean of samples and loops. The word alternative is key, as there has been nothing to my knowledge that has sounded quite like this in recent years, and yet what makes it so genuinely brilliant is that on top of the uniqueness; the song itself is absolutely stunning.

There’s an immense wave of melancholy that crashes over you from the start; the feeling is beautifully reflected in the chosen instruments and the notes and riffs with which they make themselves heard. Then, just as you find yourself engrossed in this ambiance, listening intently to the soft and peaceful, slightly haunting opening vocal part, then you’ll find yourself quite unexpectedly submerged in this hugely melodic and captivating song.

The music itself is fantastic, the superb character that comes through from this particular fusion of instruments and elements is undeniably quite striking. The organic double-bass-line is a brilliant touch, as is the continuous softness of that lightly finger-picked guitar part, as is the addition of the male vocal for those gorgeous harmonies. The whole way in which this song has been crafted is outstanding. The string section at just past two and a half minutes brings this manic, hectic, seemingly increasing in velocity section of the track. It’s almost like you’re witnessing some intense piece of theatre – the imagery and the ideas conjured up by the music and the very specific lines used in the verses are intense. The song has the effect of feeling like far more than a piece of audio, and that’s a pretty incredible thing to experience.

The unusual nature of the sound is one thing, the thing that is likely to capture your attention at first – this minimalist, rather dark sort of folk music, but the songwriting that follows is something else entirely. There are certain lines within the writing that will stop you in your tracks a little, but the cleverness of the musicality is something that won’t allow you to linger there for too long.

Five days for my heart to get it’s fix
And my thoughts are up to
Their old tricks.. 

It really is a beautiful piece of music, in many ways screaming individuality, but not at any point sacrificing skill or substance to do so. A rare sort of success, and superbly intriguing – the album is a must, after having heard even just this one part of it.

Birte Paulsen’s album of the same name, Borrowed Time, has been put together with the help of a collection of Brighton’s finest musicians. You can access the music on Bandcamp and Spotify. Find Birte Paulsen over on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud, and her Website, and take home your copy of the album Borrowed Time over on iTunes.

Rebecca Cullen

Founder & Editor

Founder, Editor, Musician & MA Songwriter

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