Alice Boman: The Space Between ([PIAS]) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Monday, February 6th, 2023  

Alice Boman

The Space Between

[PIAS]

Nov 03, 2022 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


If anything, Swedish songwriter Alice Boman’s sophomore album, The Space Between, is perfectly titled. Her soothing soundscapes leave room for the mind to wonder while it wanders. Her equally beautiful and similarly understated debut album, 2020’s Dream On, in spite of its title, had little in common with Aerosmith’s same named signature song. But the album’s hi-hat tapping single “The More I Cry” did recall the majestic melody of Roy Orbison’s “In Dreams.” Exploring similar rabbit holes, The Space Between’s “Soon,” with its layered choruses of “You can talk to me,” may faintly echo Stevie Nicks’ own synthesized beckon to do the same back in 1987. Albeit, not so bombastically.

Whether these low-key comparisons are intentional on Boman’s part or strictly a figment of one’s active imagination, she allows for extended exploration in the quiet expanses she creates. The invitation begins with the slow to blossom opener, “Honey.” Muted synths form the song’s path that is intersected in points by piano notes and lightly tapped drum pads. Gentle tweaks, fidgets, and clicks ensure the listener knows that human hands were involved in the song’s creation. While Boman’s hushed opening line, “Honey can’t you see, I want to give you all of me,” is the spark to the kindling that keeps The Space Between at a slow simmer.

Though the album is never hurried, there are intermittent changes in pace that command attention. The race of Nils Törnquist’s drums with Boman’s keys on “Where to Put the Pain,” provide a moment of exhilaration that is perfectly played out. And the echoed distances of the previously mentioned “Soon” are interspersed with what sounds like the creak of a piano’s damper pedal, footsteps, and the closing of a door. The mix of spaced out tones with ones that sound natural, and perhaps even rural, make for some level of disorientation that Boman’s vocals keep securely anchored.

Boman’s mastery of the meditative moment deserves to be more broadly known. Working again with producer and musical contributor Patrik Berger, she continues to poke at the boundaries of what it means to be unhurried. To borrow from the album’s title, it’s a captivating space that Boman plays in and one in which her open-ended mantras thrive. On the album’s sparest song, “What Happens to the Heart,” Boman sings at her most crystalline over a barely there melody that still manages to leave the listener spellbound. That The Space Between manages to broadcast a sunnier lyrical disposition than its predecessor with hardly a blip in the pulse of its delivery gives promise that Boman will continue to grace us with her minor key charmers, rain or shine. (www.aliceboman.com)

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10



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