Patiently Waving is the new album from Denmark’s Selina Gin. After a string of singles this is her debut solo album and comes just over two years after her band Nelson Can parted ways and a solo career was launched. Nelson Can were as exciting on record as they were live and they proved that being a deliberately guitar-free three piece of bass, drums and vocals never lacked invention or power. They crossed the dance/pop divide and Gin’s vocals was like a Saturn V rocket punching through the stratosphere of bass and drums and her stage presence was as powerful as her voice.
However, the beauty of a solo album is being able to get lost in your own universe and Selina Gin has crafted ten exceptional songs in collaboration with producer Søren Buhl Lassen. These are songs that can be as delicate as morning mist, as with the opening track ‘Default Setting’, or weigh-in with the menace of an impending storm on the noir dance track ‘Multiple Reasons’. ‘ ‘Cause We Had It All’ has all the upbeat energy of a Shania Twain mega-hit in full power-pop mode, but there’s also the gentle ballads ‘Young & Alive’ with its plaintive chorus, and the Church-like hymn of ‘Voice On The Radio – Part I’. There are also the dreamy undulations of ‘You Fools’, and the melancholy echoes of ‘Weighing Me Down’ and ‘I See What You’re Fighting For’. One of the stand-out tracks is ‘Good Cry’ a slow building, easy-going anthem with the hypnotic mantra “You and I, you and I, all we need is a good cry”. It’s an earworm that will linger long after you have finished listening to the album and deserves to be a huge hit that could grace every romantic mixtape and playlist on the streaming services.
The power of Gin’s voice is matched by her passion for inclusivity in the music business and she says that the album’s title is “a play on the eternal debate about the position of women and minorities in the music industry. A debate which is often derailed by arguments e.g. “if the quality was there, then the music would probably be played too” without an understanding of the underlying dynamics that maintain a status quo in the gender balance. We are here creating music on equal terms with our male colleagues. We just need the structures that maintain this distortion to change for the better and for us not to feel like we have to stand in line anymore.”
Patiently Waving is a heartfelt debut with lyrical and musical depth cradled in perfect arrangements. Selina Gin has a voice that can be inquisitive or mellifluous as well as laser focused. She has the ability to take you in unexpected directions and just when you think you have a handle on one tune, she can spiral away to somewhere breath-taking, skipping over the water’s surface in one song or soaring above the clouds on another, and I hope this album brings her the huge success outside Denmark that she deserves.
Review by Paul F Cook