It seems like only yesterday that Sólveig Matthildur’s “Affliction” came through the letter box. Moody and brooding, it showed off the Kælan Mikla keyboardist and backing singer’s ability to channel dark waves to full effect.
The follow-up is an album, Constantly in Love. This is where things get interesting: with more space to work with, Matthildur opens up with material that could plays like the precocious child of Dead Can Dance and Psyche. Certainly, her vocals are precise and cutting where they should be, and saw waves carve deep into your soul.
Despite the temptations of minimal wave, the synths never crowd out the vocal lines on the album. On “My Father Taught Me How to Cry,” Matthildur’s voice is the essential feature; stretching like a veil over the rhythmic bass, it goes into Lisa Gerrard territory without wavering.
If one is Constantly in Love, the one might also be “Constantly Heartbroken,” and Matthildur knows how the arc of affection traces its path through the mind. The initial impulses of “My Desperation” and “Your Desperation” give way to the healing of “I’m OK” and wrap at “The End.” This is heavy, heady stuff, but it is skilfully handled with an emotional reach that is both powerful and sensitive.
Look after yourself first, they say, but don’t shy from the experience of being Constantly in Love.
Sólveig Matthildur plays in London at The Shacklewell Arms on 22 May 2019. Free tickets are available through the Dice app.