Listen to a former Norwegian model’s debut album of ‘shoegaze’ music

The World
Carmen Villain

One of the most mysterious and haunting albums to come out of Norway in awhile is by Carmen Villain. Her debut album is called "Sleeper," and it's starting to have a musical impact outside of Norway.

The woman behind the name "Carmen Villain" is 27-year-old Carmen Hillestad. Hillestad was one of Norway's few international top models for a number of years. Yet her music is anything but glitz or glamour. It's quite the opposite.

Most of her music is experimental, challenging and occasionally disturbing. Some other adjectives I'd use to describe her music are dreamy, brooding and hypnotic.

Villain trades in traditional song structure for a deeply original take on a musical style known as shoegaze. Shoegaze originiated in Britain in the late 1980s and often uses guitar effects.

Her art pop music reminds me of My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus and Mary Chain, but Villain adds a fresh approach.

And while I admit Villain's music is far from an easy listening experience, underneath all the friction, there's a lot of beauty on "Sleeper."

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