Singer and producer Oh Land, aka Nanna Øland Fabricius, is a record label's dream: She's a professionally trained dancer, writes her own songs that are unique yet accessible, looks like she stepped out of a fashion photo shoot, and is genuinely talented.
As a child, Oh Land trained to be a ballerina, until a severe back injury forced her to stop. It was during her recovery period when she discovered music, saying, "I was like a black hole during that period. The only thing that got me through was music because I felt like I could still dance through it--like I could lie down, close my eyes and figure out melodies without moving."
Her music certainly gets me moving, and watching this cross between Nico and Françoise Hardy moving unabashedly onstage in a sea of balloons is mesmerizing. There's just something about music that comes from Nordic countries (think Bjork and the Knife--not metal) that has this "haunted dollhouse" sound--I really think it's the accents. But instead of evoking visions of frozen tundras or wolf-inhabited forests, Oh Land's music is still tethered to the urban world. She takes that geographically defined, sinister style and seamlessly combines it with the slinky pop sensibilities of electro acts like Sam Sparro.
Oh Land's self-titled sophomore album comes out this month, following her 2008 debut Fauna. Watch her video for her first single "Sun Of A Gun." And by the way: I must warn, Oh Land is close to overtaking Lykke Li for the best use of batwing tops and jerky dance moves.