Maria Køhnke is swaying between anthemic and intimate with her EP Don’t Look. After a void in her musical life, she is back with a confident sound melding art-pop with French music and 80’s hooks. The diverse collection of tracks holds a hint of familiarity with all the excitement of something new and modern.
An experienced vocalist, songwriter and producer, she made her mark on the Scandinavian music scene before embarking on a successful digital design career. Alongside the EP, she has released a music video for the track ‘Don’t Look At Me’ which is her vision of an introverted mind. Everything she has picked up over the years has been combined for her alternative approach to modern music.
The EP starts with ‘Don’t Look At Me’ which introduces you to Køhnke’s vocals from the first second. There is an immersive synth layer to this song that envelopes you in the soundscape and acts as a dome over your senses. The depth of the soundscape further encloses you into the music with a number of elements contributing to the sound. The vocal performance is a thread cutting through the soundscape that you can’t help but follow.
‘If Only I Could’ has a completely different sound and vibe to the opening track. There is a faster energy to this song that hits you from the pounding synths to the vocals. Køhnke’s vocals are powerful on this track as she grabs your attention and does not let go. She effortlessly seems to draw you into the sound and lets you flow down the river of her music.
The fast pulses of ‘Top of the Hill’ turn into somewhat eery synths that set a darker vibe to this track. Køhnke adds to the darker tone with her slow vocals. While there is a creeping darkness to this track, there is more to it than what you first get. There is a sultry thread to the music that makes you think the song could be about a rendezvous or something more sinister. The flow of this track is great as you are swept up in the smooth and dulcet tones of the soundscape.
‘There You Go’ brings back the fast synth energy as you are thrust into them from the first moment. The vocals have a grounding effect as they stand strong against the crash of synths. The beat in the low levels of the track is this constant propeller that has you moving forward to the rhythm even as the synths try to lead you astray. There is a lot going on in this song, but they combine to form a multi-layered soundscape that is as immersive as the others on the album.
The EP ends with ‘Sweetness’ which has these blossoming tones bubbling up from the depths of the deep shuffling beats. The gentle flow of the vocals gives you the chance to breathe easily after the pace of the last track. The slower pace of the song swells for the chorus but it does not run away with you. You can easily sway to the beat of this track.
Maria Køhnke takes you on a scintillating pop journey full of heavy synths, dark tones and fast energy with Don’t Look. Each track of the EP is unique and showcases the depth of her confident soundscape.