SUMIE Lost In Light LP Vinyl NEW 2017
The Only Lady
For a singer-songwriter, the benefit of starting from a point of quiet is the room it allows for manoeuvre afterwards. Such is the case with the subtly cinematic second album from Sandra Sumie Nagano, Lost in Light. On 2013's eponymous debut, Sumie tapped into the mid-point between Scandinavian and Japanese folk music to deliver an album of blissful restraint, its quietude shaped by a combination of parenthood and natural inclination. The follow-up is an album of stealthy dynamism, drama and mystery, its impact made all the greater because it skirts obvious routes to dance just out of hand's reach, always seeming to be on the verge of departure. For Sumie, the album's mere existence was never a foregone conclusion. "My debut album was very personal and I was proud of letting it go; however, I was not really prepared, even though I was almost 40 years old at that time. For a quiet person, the aftermath turned out in many ways, some for the better and some for the worse. So, the thought of a second album was not self-evident." Those who helped Sumie climb that poised peak included producer Filip Leyman, in whose Gothenburg studio the album was recorded. Fellow contributors numbered Karl Vento and Albert af Ekenstam on electric guitars, Emma Straat and Kajsa Persson on strings, and Max Lindahl on trumpet. Lately, Sumie has also surfaced on others' work. She sings on 'Cover Hearts', a track from sometime soundtrack composer David Wenngren's Library Tapes project, and on Gothenburg electro-collective Tegami's pulsing 'Screen Dream'. Meanwhile, back at base camp, Lost in Light is a screen-style dream of an album itself: immersive while it lasts, haunting after it flickers out of view.