You may have been a fan of The X Factor back in the day but if you’re reading this outside of Germany then you might well have missed the phenomenal winners of the third season there, Mrs. Greenbird. A folk pop powerhouse of a pair, the act won dramatically after winning over the hearts of a country. And if you weren’t aware of them before then now is most certainly the time for you to become acquainted as they release their latest album Dark Waters.
Formed of talented young duo Sarah Nücken and Steffen Brückner, the duo have been dramatically expanding their repertoire since their impressive X Factor win. Taking a healthy dose of time between the production of their albums the pair regularly take a step back, take stock of what is important in life and then set to work piecing together something new and exciting. With their last album Postcards having released back in 2014 it has certainly been a long wait for their fans but their pure perfectionist nature is easily reflected in Dark Waters. Barely more than a few seconds in, that lengthy gap just seems to melt away like waking from a dream. Opening with their hard-hitting folk pop melody Long Time No See – an all to apt nod to their fans – the pair help to set you up for your day no matter what you face. Bold, jubilant and determinedly edgy they have a complex and contemporary sound that is unlike anything else that we have today. They flit between heart-stoppingly beautiful tracks like Dark Waters that can haunt, soothe and chill you in equal measures and the more brazen and experimental songs like Tides are Turning.
Lead primarily by the sweet and honeyed vocals of Nücken, there is a rich and charming versatility to their songs. Nücken has a truly remarkable voice that is soft and tender with a raw, emotional power held within. This variable is something that she applies perfectly throughout as her passion bleeds into their work like fuel and then they strike a match, igniting a fire in your heart. It equally allows her to reign it all back in and instead just construct these soft and painfully beautiful tracks that pluck on your heart strings like a harp. Brückner himself has a gentle and charismatic voice himself but when he joins it together with that of Nücken you can almost feel a shift in the air around you. Their act takes on a whole new form when the two combine and harmonise as each of them elevates the other to greater and greater heights; musically, vocally and lyrically. This natural and harmonious nature to their work makes it clear that these are people who were born to perform together.
Dark Waters is quite unlike anything you may have come across before. It is as though it has an actual beating heart buried at its core. Tender, dramatic and so beautifully understated at times their music is like a lightning strike to the heart while their voices meld together and drift through their work like a warm summer breeze. Years in the making it feels like this charming duo have made what can only be described as an absolutely perfect album.
Review by Joe Knipe