'13 REDUX: Ingrid Olava

REDUX: In which we revisit a smattering of our favorite artists and albums of the year, no particular order. One each day til the new year.

Summer House, the third studio album from Norwegian songstress Ingrid Olava is, as we expected, wide-ranging in scope and style and a brilliant, often understated triumph of both imagination and reflection. As we noted on her 2010 masterpiece The Guest, it is "a collection of songs that could easily be dropped into a Feist/Regina Spektor/Fiona Apple medley of charismatic and intelligent piano-based art-pop." It is also, sad to say, unavailable, for now, to those living in the U.S. Produced by David Kosten (Bat For Lashes) and released this past September in Europe via Universal, Summer House combines dark, pulsing ballads like "Dark Eyed December" and the moody title track with brisk, uptempo drivers ("Black Box," "Jackie Kennedy"). Olava's voice, with shades that vary between toughly defiant and confessionally tender, is simply a marvel of unpretentious theatricality. Click through to stream the lovely "Dark Eyed December" and watch the video for "Jackie Kennedy." Listen to "Black Box" here.

Ingrid Olava - "Just For Tonight" (from Summer House)

Ingrid Olava - "Dark-Eyed December" (from Summer House)