Norwegian chanteuse Sylvaine – you may know her as Kathrine Shepard from her work with blackgaze Gods Alcest, amongst others – has delivered a solid, at times remarkable new album with Nova.

Sylvaine/Shepard is a multi-instrumentalist of no little skill, and handles the wide range of moods and soundscapes here with the practised ease of someone secure in their own skin as a musician. At times – especially on Nowhere, Still Somewhere – you wish she’d try to hit a bit of pop-rock paydirt in the same way as close musical relative Helga did on her EP from a couple of years back, The Autumn Lament. For this reviewer that release remains the high water mark for this sort of ethereal, dream-pop-meets-gaze mullarkey, and though I realise it isn’t within Sylvaine’s remit as an artiste to meet my requirements, just a little bit more oomph! in the melody department might have tipped this over the edge into classic release territory.

Still, that’s personal taste, and at the end of the day there’s little or no argument from this quarter with material as strong as the epic, cinematic Fortapt, with it’s mix of Nordic angst and baroque floridity, and or the album’s standout, Everything Must Come To An End.

On the latter of those two tracks Sylvaine does enlist the help of other musicians (beyond drummer Dorian Mansiaux, whose contribution throughout is excellent) in the shape of violinist Lambert Segura and Patrick Urban (Cellos); the swelling in intensity and complexity of the sound with the addition of these strings increases the song’s impact dramatically, and with very satisfying results.

But if that track is this reviewer’s fave, then perhaps I Close My Eyes So I Can See is the best to listen to if you are unfamiliar with Sylvaine and the way she goes about things; here, with a concision lacking on the ‘bigger’ numbers, our hero weaves every element of her sound together in a rock-solid composition that shows every side in it’s best light – and that’s a pretty sparkly one, if truth be told.

Good stuff then, and whilst it’s obviously not for the denim n’leather brigade, almost every other facet of the Sentinel Daily readership should find something to amuse their taste buds on Nova.

Nova releases on March 4th.