Live Reviews

Broken Twin @ Servant Jazz Quarters, London

5 December 2013


Broken TwinThere is a heater at this gig. Well. It’s not AT the gig. It hasn’t bought a ticket. It isn’t drinking a drink, conversing with friends or checking its phone waiting for the music to start. But, there is a heater at the back of the room doing its absolute damnedest to remove the chill from the air. A task at which, it fails.

It’s an unusual thing to find. But then again, a certain coldness does befit Broken Twin, aka Majke Voss Romme, a 24-year-old from Denmark. It suits her particular take on subtle, softly-spoken songs that quietly carry what would appear to be fairly substantial set of tragic emotional baggage.

As, incidentally, does the rest of the setting. Downstairs at the Servant Jazz Quarters is a space which provokes a small but receptive audience into observing the kind of rapt silence where not only can you hear a pin drop, you can also hear the preceding mental torment of the pin beforehand as it works through the best time to fall. It is an ideal location for her to perform. Particularly when it’s cold.

Her songs are sad, personal and shot through with a sense of loneliness. Which, if you’re in the right kind of mood, the kind of mood where the more annoying of folk swerving into your orbit may describe you as a ‘little ray of sunshine’, can be an ideal accompaniment. And no doubt, there’s definitely something interesting about Broken Twin.

There’s a clarity to her voice. It isn’t as striking as some but there’s a purity to it, a glassy strength, that is nevertheless perched just on the side of cracking. It gives the songs additional emotional weight. She alternates between keys and, on a couple of occasions, picks up a guitar. Mostly the lines which she picks or prods are simple and unadorned, but some careful touches of electronics and subtle use of loops give it a modern edge.

More colour is added by violinist Nils Gröndahlm, who also contributes some yearning backing vocals to go with his yearning strings. Sun Has Gone has a eerie sense of calm solemness. Out Of Air manages to capture both an air of fragility and a stoic thou-shalt-not-beat-me defiance.

It’s a short introduction and one during which she seems a little nervous. But there’s enough ethereal wonder about her material to suggest her debut album (due early in 2014) will be worth seeking out.


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