Does popular music need a more eclectic sound in an effort to shake things up? One candidate to elevate this problem to the above question is Swedish artist Cajsa Siik. Deserting the predictable pounding dance sound of contemporary pop Siik has unleashed her album Contra to critical acclaim. Exuding the same haunting appeal as Kate Bush/Florence Welsh/Tori Amos and even a small bit of Madonna, Contra is a good example of modern art pop as a “commercial vehicle” its not trying to be overly artsy for the sake of it.

The lead single Higher is a good choice to reel the new listener in, then unveiling the rest of the album with all of its masterful sonic moments. Birds is a beautiful song it is a very mellow ballad, it’s a sad song lamenting lost love but not in a predicable way.

If you were expecting Caijsa to follow in the footsteps of fellow country women Robyn and Neneah Cherry with there dance/hip hop sound or even the bubble gum factory pop of Sweden of the past fifteen years or so – forget it! This album is a breath of fresh air in a very subtle way, yet the album has a very sombre overtone the dance beats don’t pulsate and the guitars don’t soar making it a nice mix.

Relentless Delight is a jaunty number that shakes the album up a bit, the drums are dramatic and the song has a xylophone element to it which switches it up a bit leaving the sombre tone behind and adds more aggression to it. Cold and Clear is back to a slower mood her voice is clear and precise and is quite pleasant to listen to.

Highlights of this collection are – Higer, Birds and Relentless Delight

The U.K edition of this collection has an extra song Follow You Down – and more songs will be released over the Spring that are not on this album. Cajsa Siik is playing gigs in the forthcoming future and Contra is released via Sing for you/ XS music group.

It is definitely worth a listen.