This article originally appeared in The Skinny
Surviving your youth can be a tumultuous experience. Norwegian-born, London-based musician Anna Lena Bruland – better known as EERA – understands that more than most. Her debut album Reflection of Youth documents a tumultuous chapter living through her twenties, or, in Norway, “the years when you’re supposed to figure everything out.”
It’s telling that Reflection of Youth was mostly composed in the small hours of the night. It’s an album that perfectly suits the dark, as it’s often painted in haunting, stark guitar melodies that reverberate around the tracks and lo-fi tones. The tone is set by opener Living, which morphs from sparse beginnings into a collision of percussion and squalling riffs.
It’s not all moody, reverb-soaked guitar though. Christine renders Bruland’s vocals in fuzzy, tinny effects alongside glitch-ridden, cacophonous synths that give its simplicity some added texture, Bruland harmonises in almost ritualistic fashion with male voices on Wise Man, while the ethereal nature of Beast is only heightened by the ambient electronic sweeps that form its foundation.
But if there’s any point that sums up the theme of the album in a nutshell, it’s Survived, which builds from its fragile start into a triumphant hook where Bruland simply states: “I survived.” While Reflection of Youth doesn’t always capture the more brutal side of growing up sonically, Bruland does give off the sense that she’s come out of the other side, older and wiser.