Great Doubt

Astrid Sonne


Louis Pelingen

March 10, 2024

Tracks in this feature

Tracks in this release

A dive into addled thoughts in lilting vocalisations and airy instrumentation, a patient sonic space where emotions seep through

When we are in a state of melancholy, we often process our emotions in a state of reminiscence, thinking of happier times or events that brought us to where we are. There will inevitably be negative moments in our lives, moments of isolation, but it’s important that we take the time to find space for those reflections. 

Great Doubt presents Danish composer and viola player Astrid Sonne whirling through a sonic space in a way she never has before. Her classical training melding with her penchant for electronic music, she weaves emotional tapestries. Still reflection when words are not spoken and spill over and an emotional momentum when the voice does speak. This is the new addition to Astrid’s sound, her voice. Throughout the project, her vocals offer confuddled musings on her surroundings. In between the crashing drums that pave the way to ruffled pianos and strings, Do you wanna is a unique and brutal musing. “Do you wanna have a baby? Do you wanna bring people into this world?”, Astrid’s delivery here is curious, the questions strike with a weightiness but her tone reflects a nonchalance. She thinks she’s things to herself, an introverted sharpness. The repetition and her self-confessed uncertainty match the plodding rhythm.

Almost represents this tension well, in a more quaint atmosphere painted through plucked strings. Her lyrics set out an everyday scene, before gushing: “Things will never be the same again. They will never be the same again” she sings, her voice carrying an outwardly gentle, yet internally troubled tone that reflects a tension. The pizzicato plucking is simple, but with droning strings enveloping the sharp simplicity, there is a clear doubtfulness.

The sound is unique, not just for the new addition of vocals, but also through her comfort in mixing digital and organic elements. The opening track, Light and Heavy, is a lilting prelude that feels like it floats above everything with a classical flightiness. In contrast, Give my all and Staying here are almost completely electronic, the more static feeling soothed by Sonne’s soft vocals. Emma Barnaby’s cello performance on Everything is unreal works in tandem with the slow-burn snarl of the pedal-note keys that take Astrid’s voice into a world-weary trip. Warm light shines through the dimmed vocal yearning of closer Say you love me, with its charming chalky beat, shy piano notes, and digital brass section. This endearing track is nudged gently with the swirl of ascending viola accents that carries a spark of hope, softening the doubt once and for all.

The act of contemplation manifests itself gracefully and honestly on Great Doubt. A brief musing through the messy tangents of emotions, coursing through both the organic and the synthetic instruments. Whether or not closure will be found is a complicated case that may take more time – or listens. The answers might not exactly be found at the current moment, but the progression moving forward helps matters, dousing the doubts with a sense of hope.