Oh Land is back with complete honesty.
Born Nanna Oland Fabricius, Oh Land has been flourishing in the indie pop and synthpop genres since 2008. The Denmark native started her musical career with her debut album Fauna in 2008 and her follow up in 2011, Oh Land, which reached number five on the Danish Album Charts and was released as her debut album in the United States with great praise. Not only has Oh Land released four studio albums to date. but she has also made U.S. TV appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and the Late Show With David Letterman. Oh Land also opened for Katy Perry and Sia on tour and even dabbled in being a supporting actress on Danish TV. Her discography continues to grow with the release of her 2019 project, Family Tree. Instead of taking a synth-heavy lead like in the past, Oh Land goes on an acoustic guitar and reflective journey on Family Tree. The album is based on the major changes that the singer endured recently, including having a baby, moving home and divorce.
Starting from scratch, the 12-track album opens with the title track “Family Tree.” The track really sets the tone for the whole album with themes of devastation, broken hearts and rebuilding. Followed by “Human Error,” a clear standout on the album, Oh Land lets her gentle vocals take the lead as light piano, keys and backup harmonies sway through the crashing waves that are building problems in her life. She sings “Just human errors/ make human hearts break.” The singer gets as real as possible on “Brief Moment.” Based on her son and a real moment in her life when she decided to take a run around the waters in her neighborhood, the track is playful, quite airy and seems like a reassuring moment that everything will work itself out.
What could be an accordion or possibly a harmonica, is the main sound in “Coma.” A quiet, quick track filled with sorrow and beautifully haunting lyrics. “Sunlight” takes some of the sounds of Florence & The Machine and mixes it with the Oh Land from the past that listeners know best. The song changes tone and dynamic suddenly as melodic beats are layered with harmonies and piano. The song could almost sound a bit R&B at points, “Sunlight” might be the most dynamic song on the album.
“Someone I Can Be Alone With” is yet another vulnerable point on the album for Oh Land. Much like the rest of the album, the track is a bit quieter and allows the lyrics to really shine: “I am facing a change that has left me blinded/ with no skills to navigate/ my head is exploding in slow motion/ while I’m making sense of it.” The album ends with “After the Storm,” a perfect reminder that after every bad storm, the sun is still going to shine on. The singer has been through rocky seas and is ready for a new day to begin again, for, “even the rain knows that I am different now.”