Losing a parent is a traumatic, life changing event for anyone. For an already emotional Austrian teenage musician with one dark and downbeat album to her name it was understandably devastating. It's taken Anja Plaschg, aka Soap&Skin, almost three years to channel the emotional pain of her father's sudden, unexpected death into Narrow, the follow up to her 2009 debut Lovetune For Vacuum. Despite the passing of time Anja's pain is still so raw, the wounds are still so fresh that listening to the album feels like intruding on private grief.

From the self explanatory emotional, piano lead opening track 'Vater' to Lost with it's simple refrain of 'I lost you, I really lost you' and the coffins of 'Deathmental' the ghost of Anja's father looms large over Narrow. 'Vater' may be sung entirely in German but you don't need to be fluent in the Teutonic language to understand the sense of loss and hurt. This is as intense as music gets, a torrent of anguish at the loss of a loved one. Understandably there's nothing upbeat about Narrow. Anja's dark mood colours everything she touches even turning 'Voyage Voyage', a throwaway Europop track from the 80s, into a stripped back melancholic ballad more suited to a funeral than an Italian disco. It's more intense than an Antony Hegarty psychotherapy session and, thankfully, much more listenable.

On the harsh, industrial 'Deathmental' Anja's grief turns to anger providing a welcome change of tone from the oppressive melancholia that covers the rest of Narrow like a shroud. Normal funereal service is resumed with the beautiful, elegaic 'Wonder', a delicate, fragile hymn that could give a statue goosebumps. If you don't shed a tear or two then you should book a trip to a cardiologist to check you have a heart. By the time you reach 'Lost' the tears will be flowing like Niagara Falls in the rainy season.

The album closes with 'Big Hands Nail Down' which starts slowly, quietly before exploding into an orchestral masterpiece which will make your spine shiver and your chest heave. It's a final cry of pain from a young women struggling to come to terms with her loss and using her art as cathartic therapy.

Narrow is an album to be endured more than enjoyed, a work of serious art not entertainment. Despite, or maybe because of this, it will be one of the few albums released in 2012 which will pass the test of time and still be regarded as a classic when we're all drawing our pensions. Once you've heard this disturbing, breathtaking, beautifully bleak album all others will seem frivolous and meaningless by comparison.