Bluebirds often have mythological associations, sometimes adopting superstitious symbolism, other times encountered in fairy tales. Every so often they are portrayed as emblems of hope and faith, spiritual embodiments of the rising sun, with the belief that the dawn of a new day brings the promise of opportunities and renewal. Lotte Kestner's new solo album, The Bluebird of Happiness, is perhaps somehow inspired by these symbolic connotations of the bluebird; wrapped in a blanket of intimacy, it is a lovelorn album that croons with a purposeful sense of emotional healing.

Interestingly, the title itself is almost self-contradictory – there's an icy numbness as Kestner's emotive vocals chill to the bone, and yet the abundance of overwhelming sincerity and emotion contained within the trembling sound waves of every string plucked, every note sung, arouses a tender happiness. The mournful 'String' begins with a tentative, whispered countdown, leading into the powerfully poetic lament of possible abandonment – "love, love if you love me, why do you make me miss you so?" while violins and the echo of hums haunt the acoustic refrain. 'Wrestler' adopts romanticised metaphors for hearts with buildings and matches, lyrically brooding of the emotional and psychological wrestlings with love, whereas title track 'The Bluebird of Happiness' utilises a muted piano as Kestner sombrely croons, "bury me at sea" around a harmonised murmur that resonates across the ocean of melodies.

She teams up with Damien Jurado, the Seattle based indie rock musician, on the ballad Turn of the Wolves', while stripping Beyoncé's 'Halo' right back to the bare exposure of vocal control and remarkable harmonisation, transforming it from a drum-driven declaration to an impassioned confession. Contrastingly, Kestner's vocals are muffled and distorted on 'Sweetheart', as if they were reaching you from across a distant, transatlantic telephone wire, which adds a soothing, dreamlike ambiance that complements the occasional purr of a harmonica and repetitive rattle of a tambourine.

'Eggshell' is as fragile as the title suggests; melodically ethereal and rhythmically sluggish, you get a sense of the draining power of love as the lyrics, "it's so hard to love; guess that's what makes it worth so much." Similarly, 'Cliff' solemnly mourns lost youth and emotional strength which can sometimes leave you hanging by a thread, as a compact orchestra of violins, flutes, and cellos, guides the instrumentation into a melodic waltz. Closing the album is 'Little Things', which builds with a tender fingerpicked guitar and the fragile shake of percussion.

The wealth of emotion on this album is intensified by the restrain in Kestner's voice; she approaches the ballad-sounding tracks not with the bellowing Adele-like choruses, but rather with a discreet, barely audible whisper, which suggests an emotional defeat from within. Yes, the laments are sombre and slow, but what feels unbearable in life is somehow made bearable – and beautiful – through art, and, on this album alone, Kestner certainly has the ability to turn everything beautiful. Lyrically moving and a pleasure to listen to, The Bluebird of Happiness creates an emotional impact on anyone who has ever loved which, although a universal emotion, Kestner has written about with such thought that it also evokes a feeling of the personal. So perhaps the hope behind this album is to unchain you from the pains of love by confronting them as you drift through the record, eventually allowing your soul to achieve some kind of liberation and, like the bluebird, fly free towards happiness.