Anna Ternheim is back with her fifth album, The Night Visitor, and it does not disappoint. Ternheim has managed to create an imaginative and inspiring album that demonstrates not only her obvious musical talent, but also her thoughts, anxieties, hopes and dreams. Folk is Ternheim’s solid foundation, but she deviates around it by incorporating different instruments and styles of playing that gives The Night Visitor a depth that diversifies it, making the album flow coherently yet remain interesting and thought provoking.
The album begins with ‘Solitary Move’ which uses picky acoustic guitar with echoing electric guitar in the background and a subtle, yet rhythmic folky beat to make a moving and slightly melancholy feel. This atmosphere is reinforced by her lyrics; “Safe as long as I’m moving / No one touches me now”. This is a really nice introduction to the album because it gently introduces the main style and themes Ternheim uses throughout the album.
‘Ghost of a Man’ is another song that stands out. Ternheim uses a quiet and modest, picked guitar riff to create a sad, reflective feel. Alongside downbeat lyrics about the regret of leaving a man a hollow shell after breaking up; “I never meant to hurt you, like I hurt myself”, she successfully manages to create very sombre and depressing atmosphere.
Thankfully, the latter half of the album is more upbeat. Ternheim uses more tick-tock like beats and picky guitars along with lyrics that convey happier themes which creates a more optimistic mood. Songs like ‘Wandering Aimlessly’ and ‘Come To Bed’ illustrate a more escapist, free side to Ternheim’s music which can only be admired.
The Night Visitor is an album of two halves. The first is depressing, yet melodically and lyrically very good and the second is more upbeat and enjoyable, but a bit less creative. The clever thing that Ternheim manages in this album is to seamlessly join these two different genres without compromising the flow of the album.