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Amanda Tenfjord (NO) – “Let Me Think”

We still think, “Oh wow, that last name is so Nordic,” every time we encounter Amanda Tenfjord. The thought is fleeting, though, because then we’re confronted with her music, and it’s always overpowering and all-consuming. “Let Me Think,” her newest tune, follows the R&B-infused coolness of her glorious “First Impression” from earlier this year; if anything, it amplifies that track’s pop edges with production that ensures a flourishing sound without fully blowing the song out.

Within the first few seconds of “Let Me Think,” Tenfjord’s croon—an instrument that exudes confidence and introspection in its lowest register and sheer dominance in its mid-range, which it rarely exceeds—introduces the song’s contemplative mood. “Holding on too long/killing all the fun…no more drama,” goes her first verse, amply setting up the higher stakes of the chorus, in which Tenfjord demands space from the song’s subject to work through what form she thinks their relationship should take.

When describing the situation in the verses, Tenfjord surrounds herself with a bare minimum of synthetic snaps, cresting and falling synths, and repeating but occasional samples of what sounds more like mewing than singing. Actually, calling it a bare minimum is a sore understatement; Tenfjord sings, in the verses, over close to nothing, and this technique emphasizes the allure of her voice.

The chorus comes in and slam-dunks on this inviting setup with a moderate expansion of instrumental elements—mostly some fucked-up horns and an additional synth layer subtle enough to fly right under the radar—that achieves the sky-opening, arena-reaching effect that so many traditional pop choruses pull off. She doesn’t need much to make her songs sound huge, perhaps because what she’s talking about is something everyone’s been through, Nordic or not.

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