With the release of her Johannes Berglund-prodcued, 2011 full-length debut and 2015’s Perfect Storm, 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. Ideskog’s soon-to-be released third, full-length effort Siberia will continue her ongoing collaboration with Berglund, who’s best known for his work with The Knife and I Break Horses while being a subtle change in sonic and thematic direction, influenced by a train trip through the Siberian tundra, a trip that was meant to free her and Berglund from the endless choices that the modern recording studio frequently provides, the curiosity of seeing what happens with your songwriting process when you change the patterns you’ve developed. But it may have also been fueled by a desire to escape the mundane, to be in motion and to upset the status quo — even if in a subtle fashion.
Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of months, you may recall that I wrote about Siberia‘s first single “Collide (Krasnoyarsk),” a brooding, Kate Bush-like atmospheric pop track featuring thumping beats, shimmering arpeggio synths and industrial clang and clatter within an infectious, hook-driven song that reminded me of Niki and the Dove and Moonbabies. The album’s third single “Close Enough (Ulan Bator)” pairs Ideskog’s ethereal and plaintive vocals with a slick, dance floor-friendly production featuring twinkling synths, electronic bleeps and bloops, stuttering drum programming and a soaring hook to create a sound that manages to nod a bit at Kraftwerk‘s Trans Europe Express with the beats mimicking both the sound of metal on metal and the propulsive motion of the train; but paired with intimate and confessional lyrics focusing on an almost insatiable desire to love and to be loved in return.