Carmen Villain

Quietly/Let Go (Smalltown Supersound)

Contact Jessica Linker about Carmen Villain

Carmen Villain (born Hillestad), the US-born, half- Norwegian, half-Mexican, returns with an enchanting pocket symphony. Immaculately produced dream pop from another galaxy, “Quietly” picks up from the dreamiest parts of 2013 debut Sleeper. Recorded and produced by Hillestad, “Quietly” is a taster of her second album, due out later this year.


An alien landscape — an anthemic lullaby with a dash of Kurt Vile heartland desperation — it’s the sound of a waking dream, her voice and breath hovering like a pink cloud over glacial territory (further enhanced by the superb mixing of Supersilent’s minimalist master Helge Sten). The sound of suburban ennui, of life and death rubbing shoulders. Sometimes the quietest things are the most powerful.


The mostly instrumental b-side, “Let Go,” plays the role of comforter. Lifting off into the air, Villain pops in for some whispers toward the end.