'Hidden' is Swedish chanteuse Titiyo's fifth studio album in Scandinavia, and her first since 2001's chart-topping 'Come Along' LP. It is a record that sounds distinctly far-removed from Sweden's customary jaunty, upbeat indie-pop and navigates an alluringly darker sound more akin to Bristol's Portishead, the avant-garde of Tricky, and the kraut-rock influence of Kraftwerk.
Following the huge success of 'Come Along' (and the global hit of the same name), Titiyo's backing group disbanded and headed back to their day-jobs as assorted members of The Cardigans and Kent. At the same time, Titiyo was suffering from exhaustion and reluctantly put her career on hold to reassess what to do next. It took almost five years for her to write again, and she headed right back to basics. Purchasing the cheapest and most aesthetically 'ugly' analog Casio synth she could lay her hands upon, Titiyo fell back in love with the simple, stripped back approach of a basic synth and an Omnicord, spending whole nights laying down her new ideas to an old 8-track portable recorder. It reminded her of the endless hours spent discovering her voice as a teenager alongside her sister, Neneh Cherry, and it reinvigorated Titiyo to reacquaint herself with the past in order to head future forward.
'Awakening' became a real labour of love for Titiyo, and one that has since re-positioned her as an artist of genre-warping capabilities in her native Scandinavia. With deft nods to her pop CV, it is a record that has a palpably romantic tone and yet weaves a sinister, and haunting atmospheric. It gloriously marks the return of Titiyo's breathless vocal, and a fresh, and decidedly eery soundtrack to it.
The torchlit anthem of 'Longing For Lullabies' has already worked its way around the world as the highlight of renowned Swedish remixer/producer Kleerup on his 2008 eponymous album. It becomes almost the quintessential vibe that 'Hidden' assuredly delivers - all beautifully crafted, simmering and decidedly sultry.
Titiyo may be a fresh name on UK soil, but the subtleties and seamless beauty of 'Hidden' is a fascinating introduction.