Nathalie Stern – Ember Child

Nathalie Stern is a Swedish artist now based in Newcastle who served her apprenticeship in guitar-based bands such as Candysuck and Lake Me, before looking to traditional Swedish folk roots and more experimental sounds for her debut solo album Firetales in 2010. Nearly a decade later she released the incredible Nerves & Skin, from which Ember Child is taken: a stripped-down, haunting, electronic-folk ballad consisting of little more than single, lengthy notes and a handful of chords on an especially morose synth and her wonderful vocal. It’s about as minimalist a composition as you’re likely to hear, and one of the most impactful.