Anna Lotterud, a pop star anchored between her Norwegian motherland and an adopted Australia, has been causing tremors since releasing debut ‘Sway’ in 2014. A track created with bandmate Brady Smith, with vocals recently revealed to have been recorded via a late night Skype conversation. This simplistic approach to production and creation has stayed present through the evolution of Anna Of The North’s sound; a pristine pop with an inherently Scandinavian edge.

Sweeping synth welcomes us into the album, Anna’s alluring vocal assuring a love interest that “sometimes it’s hard to take.” It feels appropriate to begin an album titled Lovers with a track awash with the drama, frustration, heartaches and the general tribulations of modern relations. Lotterud communicates her own anguish with a stylish understatement, travelling without needing to unleash the emotional floodgates. The duo prefers to add bombast to their production rather than their choral hooks; the enormous intro of ‘Someone’ would be at home on an M83 LP.

It’s clear over her short career Anna has been learning from high-profile collaborations; the album’s title track is reminiscent of last year’s Vessels feature - ‘Had A Love’. There is no urgency to this spacious slice of alt-pop, a heavy leaning on electronic elements gives an overall lounge-like quality. Lotterud admits finding her initial move to Australia an isolating period, spending a lot of time alone and retreating to her guitar whenever she felt lonely. She translates this succinctly on ‘Always’, sighing introspectively “I’m always in the background.” As a listener you feel as though you’re intruding on a late night sombre musing.

It’s impossible to ignore the homage to the 80s running throughout this album; ‘Feels’ is like a late night reimagining of Madonna’s ‘Get Into The Groove’, while ‘Money’ feels like a mega-hit from another universe where Kylie Minogue broke out into the alternative scene. It is startlingly modern in other places; ‘Baby’ will strike a chord with anybody who has ever been “ghosted” as Anna hopelessly questions a lover “are you home alone?/ I need to know if we’re still on.” Lotterud’s songwriting voice is refreshingly frank and easily relatable to the lovelorn and heartbroken; “I don’t think I’m strong enough for us,” “tell me where we both went wrong” she pleads on ‘Friends’.

These days debut records from new artists are often collations of their discography to this point, peppered with a couple of new cuts. Here the band choose to only include one previously-released single, despite the fact they have accumulated more than 10 million streams on the likes of ‘The Dreamer’ and ‘Us’. Sadly, the album feels as though it lacks those surprising moments that made the band such a fresh and intriguing prospect when they first appeared.

Tracks such as ‘Always’ will satiate the fans hoping for the slow-build oblivion of ‘The Dreamer’ successfully. Although Anna has confessed a love of dance and hip hop and has even collaborated in these genres to inspiring effect, the band have indulged in sadness here. Lovers is an album for all those who have either lost a lover, long for one, or simply find the subject far too complicated to understand.