Sondre Lerche – “Palindromes” (Stereogum Premiere)

Sondre Lerche – “Palindromes” (Stereogum Premiere)

We last heard from Norwegian singer-songwriter Sondre Lerche when he turned in his annual holiday cover, a “jazzy, off-kilter” version of the Miley Cyrus hit “Wrecking Ball” — a modern standard indeed! Now he’s back with original music of a slightly drearier, more atmospheric variety. Lerche and Kato Ådland did the soundtrack for filmmaker Mona Fastvold’s The Sleepwalker, screening at Sundance this year. The movie is described as such on IMDB:

A young couple, Kaia and Andrew, are renovating Kaia’s secluded family estate. Their lives are violently disrupted upon the unexpected arrival of Kaia’s sister, Christine, and her fiancé, Ira. Prior tensions and jealousies burgeon as new alliances form and childhood patterns resurface. As the days grow darker and the nights more disturbing, Kaia is forced to confront Christine’s increasingly tangled perception of reality, which in turn may have begun to alter her own. When one of the four characters goes missing, the three left behind are flung into upheaval trying to fill in the blanks.

In keeping with that description, Lerche’s “Palindromes,” premiering here today, is atmospheric and vaguely creepy without crossing over completely into despair. Lerche dispenses with pop songwriting here in favor of soundscapes befitting of a movie score. He cited the likes of Tim Hecker, Steve Reich, and John Cage as influences on the mostly instrumental soundtrack, and you can definitely hear all those guys in this song’s ambient drift. It’s a far cry from the punchy chamber pop Lerche first made his name on, and you can hear it below.

The Sleepwalker’s soundtrack is out 1/14 and can be pre-ordered through Lerche’s site.

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