Molly Nilsson | Zenith Record Release Show | Live Review

[dropcap]Let[/dropcap]’s face it, even the biggest Industrial and Noise nerd might have a hidden heart for pop sensibilities and some feel-good music that rarely sees the light of day and is mostly tied up in chains in a hidden basement, nearly dying from malnutrition. For those who occasionally feed the sorry little creature and do not necessarily want to admit that they enthusiastically sing and dance to some Rihanna or Miley Cyrus tracks, I like to introduce you to Swedish-born, Berlin-based Synth pop chanteuse Molly Nilsson, who put out her sixth album, Zenith, just yesterday on Dark Skies Association/Night School Records. As I don’t want to admit that I like Rihanna too much, I practiced my gothiest frown in front of a mirror all day and made my way to my favourite Berlin concrete hole Berghain, where the show was happening, to see Molly Nilsson present her new songs, and, hopefully, some old faves of mine I can gladly sing along without losing any darkness cred to keep my pop sensibility creature alive for at least another week or so.

I went there fairly early to get one of the very sought-after tickets – no pre-sale, first come, first serve – and luckily got one – I would have slapped myself if I missed that really good show. After some waiting in the venue, filled by two support acts I did not constantly pay attention to (Apostille and Alex Cameron), Molly Nilsson entered the stage at 10.30 pm, to present her new album. Admittedly most of the songs were unknown to me, and mind me, that show yesterday was the 1st opportunity to lay my hands on Molly Nilsson’s sixth full-length-album. It is interesting to approach a new album from a live perspective, so I looked for a good spot to watch the show, and to be very impressed.

I have never seen Molly Nilsson live before, admittedly, I never had the opportunity. There was not much of an actual show – it was just Molly Nilsson singing and switching tracks on CDJs, occasionally supported by a sax player. And that was enough. Her Nico-esque, gloomy voice was pretty much all that was needed to keep the audience under her control, and exceptionally good songs don’t really disturb an audience’s concentration. It would be hard for me to point out some songs that were actual standouts as – you’ve guessed it – I was completely unfamiliar with them, except for 1995, Mountain Time and Lovers Are Losers, which have been made available for first impressions on e.g. Youtube. Performing Zenith in its entire glory, she gave me a really good reason to go to the merch table and get one. Not much has changed about her sytle; it is still vintage-electronics laden synth pop power ballads that underlines her standout voice, and if you happened to like her previous albums, you really cannot do that much wrong with Zenith. Closing her gig with some oldies, among them – I am still happy about that – my all-time fave I Hope You Die, rounding up an overall-good gig.