Soft as Snow
“Soft as Snow gladly slot their atmospheric, expansive synthpop right next to the bleeding edge of dance music.” – Tiny Mix Tapes
When Houndstooth first heard the demos of Soft as Snow’s debut ‘Glass Body’ EP, the label knew they had found an act to broaden the label’s horizons beyond the fabric nightclub’s dancefloor where it was conceived. Although a number of their tracks are constructed around danceable rhythms, and swathed with such electronic archetypes as euphoric arpeggiated synths and disorientating acid washes, Soft as Snow’s music is also evidently borne of a quite contradictory, yet in their hands exceptionally complementary, alliance of a keen pop sensibility and a thirst for artistic experimentalism. The release garnered effusive praise from the likes of FADER, Dazed, Pigeons & Planes, The Line of Best Fit, Dummy, Stereogum and Tiny Mix Tapes.
To see Soft as Snow play live is to witness the release of the emotional power captured within their recorded material. Always immaculately attired to visually reflect their dualistic pop/avant-garde appeal, they have a bewitching on-stage presence. Vivacious singer Oda Egjar Starheim takes the metaphorical centre stage, ranging from empowered vocals as she plays lead melodies on the electric guitar, to subdued murmurs that she crouches to distort and reanimate through effect pedals.
Alongside her, Øystein Monsen stands amongst banks of analogue gear, deftly working his way between synths, sequencers and drum pads. Their versatility and wide-ranging appeal has seen them headline traditional gig venues such as Birthdays and The Old Blue Last in London, play the stunning setting of Insomnia Festival in their native Norway, Berlin gallery Team Titanic, and club shows supporting the likes of Steffi and Houndstooth label-mates Akkord.
The duo returned to the nightclub with their ‘Glass Body Remixed’ release seeing tracks from the original EP reworked by Stroboscopic Artefacts label boss Lucy, Gang Gang Dance’s Brian DeGraw, Gabe Gurnsey of Factory Floor and off-kilter Estonian chanteuse Maria Minerva, whose reinterpretations ranged from pulsating techno and acid house, through quirky indie-dance to experimental electronic pop.