It’s your senior year talent show, and you and your friends just got done with your fantastical interpretive dance of Eiffel 65’s “I’m Blue” (Da ba dee). You and your mates are sweaty and breathless; you rocked the house with your killer Sprinkler and sommersault into wink n’ gun combo. You’ve done it! You’re gonna win. That one hottie in English will be on your right with the talent show trophy in your left.
But then the lights fade, and intrigued you and your co-dancers turn, to see a diminutive girl walk to a piano. It’s the girl you’ve know about for years, but never really known. You can’t really recall her name, but you’ve had class with her ever since preschool. With spotlights blaring, she tucks her hair behind her ears, smoothes her dress and sits down. Before now, she’s never spoken a word out loud, and you’ve never spoken one to her. She opens a few keys and begins to sing…
What a fool. She’s a secret treasure, and you’ve never even looked at her. Until now. She stands up to silence; the audience doesn’t move. She walks to a tall dark haired boy in the corner, grasps his hand, together absconding out of the auditorium and into the night.
Scenes such as these will haunt your third eye while you listen to Mona Steinwidder, aka Mohna. Her music recalls a dreamweaver’s tour through a haunted childhood. Each song spreads a memory out of dark mist; reoccurring themes of piano guide your journey. “The clanging of the strings and the creaking of the parquet floor” as well as brushes of bat wings that bounce between your earphones make each track transform into a room painted by David Lynch.
Placing the Björk and Fever Ray comparisons aside, her music is truly remarkable in the way it makes you shirk and then crane your neck towards its verses. The Hamburg native released her solo debut back in November of ‘09 to flameworthy reviews in Germany, but hardly a peep here in the states. Surprisingly, she was first 1/3 of the Electro/Indie/Pop group Me Succeeds that produces some really upbeat and catchy sounds. Mohna will touch some part of your heart. Whether it be the tender, or the dark depends of the listener.
(Mohna’s 1985-1994 is available now via Sunday Service records)