Live: Chill Factor. Susanne Sundfør, Somerset House.

The last time our attentions were aroused by a particular Scandi-accented close-mid front rounded vowel was when The Dø rolled into town to seduce like an aesthetically pleasingly curled tongue and just look at how waxy and lyrical we became back then. Norwegian songstress Susanne Sundfør meanwhile is a rather more sullen and substantially less qualified proposition: we've this month already gambolled with her White Foxes single, although the LP it's bred from – The Silicone Veil (coincidentally a number one smash of brittle sort in her hjemland) – still isn't expected for several months. How will she and he (he here being the accompanying and accordingly adroit knob maestro she scrutinises gloweringly throughout) thus add up live behind banks of squiggling cable and analog gadgetry?

The emphatic rejoinder to such rhetoric is, well, startlingly well. Somerset House's annual Summer Series is oft a slightly odd experience: tonight is far from the first time technical difficulties (the volume technically being preposterously hushed in this instance representing such difficulty) have detracted from the largely stunning array of artists it attracts, whilst the atmosphere can feel somewhat stifled by suits and boots freshly unwrapped from office block sterility. The setting unspeakably civilised and the crowd if nothing else civil it's a picturesque, if never perfect setting for these sorts of shows and indeed a city job seems an incontrovertible prerequisite for anyone aspiring to neck many a £5 cider. Not that you'd even dream of Sundfør partaking in any such frivolous inebriation: a specimen entrenched in gelid stylings musical and drenched in all things nightly, you'd sooner expect to find her chomping at any unturned nape than consuming from that of a certain and certainly exorbitant, stickily Swedish gumdrop intoxicant.

Appositely opting for her more elating, euphoric and electronic compositional work (as well she may whilst supporting Anthony Gonzalez' exhaustive flogging of Hurry Up, We're Dreaming) Diamonds, for eksempel, could quite convincingly have come from Saturdays = Youth once a dense palm of spindly, frostbitten synth descends. The reeled in melodrama of Rome meanwhile proves more Martina Topley-Bird than M83, a scuffed shuffle of a ballad that trips up on the resplendence of Sundfør's immaculate vocals as frogs congregate in quivering throats to the sight of dry ice fogging teary peepers.

Thus although she may come to bear a phantasmagorical and darkly fantastical half hour, a couple inexorable comparisons emerge and not least that which draws an indelible abrasion between she and Lykke Li: were the unabashedly anguished Wounded Rhymes of the latter plastered up with pulsating electro throbs, invigorating undulations cut from The Knife's consistently brilliant electropop patchwork, and the odd histrionic from the nearby Royal Opera House you'd perhaps wind up enwrapped in The Silicone Veil, and you'd undoubtedly relish its warmth. For there's an alluring irradiance to Sundfør's voice, and that despite the chill intrinsic to everything else. A creature of symbiosis is she, and her voice be the beauty to the at times beastly sinister synth interludes that punctuate a stint that, at just six songs long, is "probably" all too short as we're left baying for blood. Or at the very least the Björk-y orchestral gawk of Meditation In An Emergency.

Either way, although she may have been better suited to the twilit forestry of Henham Park she ends with those swoonsome White Foxes aforesaid and whilst she may here appear as mysterious as the sunless depths of waters iced and consequently ever uncharted, the song itself carries homely familiarity as though the frosted and ultimately intangible visage of a loved one, only the bleak gaze of whom may penetrate the thaw. Gloriously chilling.