Pop singer Ursina recently released her debut album entitled You Have My Heart, a ten-track work that incorporates her love of classical music and folk music. In fact, two of the tracks (En In Mund and Affonza) are sung in Romansh, the language she grew up with when she lived in the Swiss mountains. This is her first foray into music, with an EP called Lontan in 2012 that was inspired by her surroundings and the people she met in Copenhagen. This album is certainly a reflection of the singer herself and the artist she is aspiring to become.
The album begins with the dream-like track You Have My Heart. It had an interesting time signature and beat groupings which made the beat difficult to discern. However, for the important bits the signature changed slightly so it was in a recognisable triple form. I wasn’t sure about Question Untold. It definitely erred on the side of indie more than the first track, but I quite enjoyed her vocal tone. The only criticism I have of the song in particular was the use of octaves just after the second chorus. To me, the melody in the lower octave was unnecessary and could have been removed. En In Mund was fantastic. The melody sounded like it was very complex to sing, with Ursina having to make quick transitions from her chest voice to her head voice. It was slower than the other tracks and had a more bluesy feel, further proving how diverse Ursina’s influences are.
Body percussion was used excellently in Behind Us. There was also a subtle build up to a soft brass section where the last part of the song featured brass melodies interweaving with her vocal ad lib. One Two Three continued the interesting sonic atmosphere that was created by the previous track, with some groovy chordal progressions and synth sounds. What I really loved about this track was the melody. It absolutely soared. Affonza reminded me of a lullaby. I don’t speak Romansh so I don’t know what the song was about, but the melody and piano accompaniment could have easily turned it into a soothing song to put a child to sleep.
I thought that I’ll Fight For You was quite lyrically simplistic which it didn’t work with the musically elementary piece. The choice of only using ‘ohs’ in the chorus was a risky one but paid off as it highlighted the melody well, but the rest of lyrics still needed to be more complex. Running gave more of the jazzy/bluesy feel I was getting from En In Mund, with a walking bass and some brass instruments included in the track. To add to the eclectic sound that the album showcased was the inclusion of small staccato flute phrases and a brief cameo of three other distinctive voices. Try To Sleep had a more rough production sound which was obviously purposeful; to convey the idea of tiredness both physically and emotionally. Somehow it was the perfect way to end the album, although I still can’t figure out why.
For a debut album, I think there were some great sounds and styles. It’s obvious that Ursina is still working towards her sound, or maybe she’s finding that her sound cannot be narrowed down. Either way, I was impressed by her skill and musical range. I see many concept albums in her future. I give the album 7/10.
To hear Question Untold click here
To buy the album on iTunes click here