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Intimate relationships, romantic or otherwise, can sometimes provoke experiences in ourselves that we never felt before. On Nils Bech's new work, One Year, he documents the upheaval of his internal world throughout the year he met and fell in love with his partner. The musician and performance artist from Norway recounts his relationship in two halves: the first section of the album, 'Before', celebrates the joy and self-consciousness of connecting with someone, while 'After' travels through the deep insecurities love can trigger.

The album follows the introspective dialogue he has with himself. He makes no attempt to dress up or use metaphor for his pain and joy, allowing emotions to be present and palpable. His musical arrangements are gentle and unpredictable, merging dance music, classical elements and bold percussion. His sparse arrangements are broad canvases for his diary-like lyrics that incorporate silence and space with an attention to every word.

'Before: That I' opens the album with a question: "If I tell you how I feel would the truth strangle you?". His recognition of love is intrinsically connected to a self-deprecation and belief that it may smother his partner. Bech writes from a position where he has nothing left to lose. 'Carry Me' bravely speaks of his own feelings of inadequacy about his artistry. He imagines and ruminates what his partner must feel about how he expresses himself and his artistic output ("When you see how I perform on stage, do you feel ashamed of me?"). His songs are laced with stories, like 'That Girl' which pulsates in a painful tale of meeting his partner's ex-girlfriend. He recoils in pain as he recounts a previous boyfriend who left him to be with a woman. He doubts why his boyfriend would want to stay with him when he could choose "the easy way with wife and kids - a life like all the others."

Nils Bech's One Year asks all the questions that we're afraid of in love. Its music and words are honest in perspective and emotionally refreshing. By writing as personally as he has, his songs are ones that speak universally. His third album is dynamic description of falling in love; capturing both the healing power of intimacy and the shadow of shame we cast on ourselves. One Year echoes how sometimes through other people we can realize our best potential, by accepting our worst thoughts.

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