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From Norway with Love, a Warm and Inviting Voice

'Walls' by Susanne Sundfor

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Wednesday's Pick

  • Song: "Walls"
  • Artist: Susanne Sundfor
  • CD: Susanne Sundfor
  • Genre: Indie-Pop

A 21-year-old Norwegian, Susanne Sundfor has a voice that's as elastic as it is fervent. hide caption

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The opening to Susanne Sundfor's "Walls" evokes the opening theme of Cheers, but that distraction quickly subsides once pianist and singer-songwriter Susanne Sundfor opens her mouth and croons, "There have been so many people walking through my door / They don't seem to want to come back anymore / Well, I never ask them to / I let them all go / I guess I'm not the easiest one to talk to when it's cold."

The music on the 21-year-old Norwegian's debut CD — available only on iTunes in the U.S. — feels warm and inviting, like a Scandinavian combination of Carole King and Rufus Wainwright. Sundfor's voice is as elastic as it is fervent, mixing an R&B belter's passion with a '70s folkie's sense of melody. (Think Vanessa Carlton with less nasal congestion and a lot more range.)

It helps that Sundfor's classical and jazz training gives her pop songs more depth: The gentle, almost minute ways she toys with bar lines and harmonic patterns take the simple chord changes out of their familiar resolutions without mucking up the lovely melodies that make her songs so catchy in the first place. "I think sunshine will treat me kind," Sundfor sings on "Walls." So, in all likelihood, will those who hear her music.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'