With the release of her first two, critically applauded full-length efforts, her 2011 full-length debut and its follow-up Perfect Storm, both of which were produced by Johannes Berglund, who has worked with internationally acclaimed acts The Knife and I Break Horses, the Stockholm, Sweden-based singer/songwriter and electronic pop artist Ester Ideskog, best known as Vanbot quickly established a reputation for crafting ethereal, hook-driven and deeply thoughtful synth-based pop.
The first single off Ideskog’s forthcoming, third album Siberia, “Collide (Krasnoyarsk),” continues her ongoing collaboration with Johannes Berglund while also being a subtle change in sonic direction for the Stockholm-based pop artist, as the track possesses a Kate Bush-like brooding yet atmospheric air; but paired with thumping beats, shimmering arpeggio synths and industrial clang and clatter. Now, to my ears, the song reminds me quite a bit of Niki and the Dove, Moonbabies and others, thanks in part to its hook-driven nature and moody feel but at its core is a raw, visceral heartache. As Ideskog explains in press notes, “‘Collide (Krasnoyarsk)’ was written after four days on the Trans-Siberian Railway, traveling through the deepest parts of Siberia. The temperature was just above zero, it was raining and we were passing through small villages and old industrial communities. It describes the collisions and the attractions in relationships, and having no choice but to accept the raw and un-retouched feelings. You know, it’s like the poem of David Jones: ‘It’s both a blessing and a curse to feel everything so very deeply.’”
Directed by Mats Udd, the recently released music video for the song features two dancers — a male and female dancer — in a narrow, industrial hallway, and the dancers’ movements symbolize the unseen and impossible to comprehend forces that pull, tug and push you towards or away from another. In some way, the video further emphasizes the conflicting feelings of hurt, confusion, longing and disgust within the song.