Unmistakably Nordic in flavor, Sofia Talvik somehow still conforms to American interpretations of her own original music, a North Sea siren blending sparkle and melancholy, creating a special niche of folk music.
If you’ve followed me on Facebook before you know that I enjoy cooking (understatement!) and like to post pictures of whatever food I make. In the RV it’s a little bit more challenging to go on any culinary adventures. I try my best but work space is limited as well as cupboard space and having lived in this thing for about two months I’m not quite stocked up on spices and tools either. We’re also on a budget whereas at home we almost never got around to eating those leftovers.
But as someone said – musicians tend to find each other everywhere, so it seems foodies do too. On this tour so far we’ve been invited for some lovely meals, both in people’s homes and to restaurants – something that we starving artists always appreciate. In Tampa we happened to meet the chef/ owners of the hot new restaurant The Refinery which has been written about in fancy publications such as Condé Nast Traveller. They invited us for dinner, the day after my gig at the great beer bar The Independent, and by chance their neighbor had dropped off a couple of pheasants which they prepared for us.
In Birmingham, AL I visited the radio show Oh Brother and the owner of MIX, a very nice bakery/restaurant in downtown wrote on my facebook wall and invited us for lunch. We had some great gumbo but was most impressed by the gorgeous sour dough breads that they had for sale. Good bread is something that’s very hard to find here in the US I think. I might be spoiled though because back in Sweden the bakery of the Swedish champion in bread baking is just next doors to my apartment.
When lunching at MIX the chef and co-owner Phil Dupont came out to say hi and all of a sudden we were invited to his upscale restaurant Cafe Dupont for dinner. We were totally blown away by the beauty and atmosphere at Cafe Dupont but even more so by the food. My favorite was the tuna starter (I’m a sucker for good tuna and Asian flavors) and Jonas favorite was the veal starter. And don’t get me started on the Cosmo!!!
In New Orleans we’ve been taken out to experience the best of the city by our newfound friend photographer Marc Pagani, who not only showed us the Hi Ho Lounge, made us the strongest drink ever but also took us for a culinary tour at La Petite Grocery on Magazine street. Food and ambience was great and I’d go back anytime if I could.
We ended our last night in NOLA with a visit to Lola’s, an unpretentious little Spanish restaurant in Mid-city which was also very enjoyable. We really had our mind set on the authentic kitchen of Liuzza’s by the track but unfortunately they were closed on Sunday’s. Good thing we already had the catfish po-boys and beignets the days before.
But as enjoyable restaurants are the most satisfying is a really good meal you’ve cooked yourself. I never thought I’d do the Swedish cabbage rolls in the RV (the best kind of comfort food) but that’s what I did the other day. And people who think you have to live off microwave meals and eat off paper plates are either too lazy to use their kitchen or just not creative enough. I even made a quick version of beef teriyaki the other day. Or how about some Vietnamese salad wraps?
If I’d just have some more space and would be able to find fresh yeast I’d be baking too. Actually it’s probably just the lack of yeast that stops me 😉
“…Not dread but a connection with our past is what we feel, a thread running back to the artless creatures we once were when we first heard the oboe-like notes from the Great Horned Owl. In Paleolithic times, we suspected omens in its voice, heard in it questions we were unable to articulate, but which have stayed within us, incomplete and taunting. We are certain that ancient, taloned bird sees what we do not, knows what we never will. And some night, silent as a gliding feather, its immensity will engulf us at fireside to tell us things we want to know as well as those we don’t. In the shadowed forest we’re pulled by that lurking and alluring ghost and we are enthralled.”Welcome to Twin Peaks: Access Guide to the Town
2011 was a busy year for me. I worked hard to get an artist visa to the US, preparing for a tour that might go on for as long as two years. At the same time I wrote and recorded a new album. Now that I’ve landed in my tour in the US it’s also time for my new album to land. “The Owls Are Not What They Seem” is a collection of 12 new songs. My musical journey started out in 2004 when I recorded Blue Moon and me and my musicians all gathered in a basement studio in Stockholm recording acoustically and almost all the instruments at the same time. After that I tried a more common way of recording in layers, adding instruments upon instruments. For my third album I hired a producer, Tobias Fröberg and for my fourth album Florida i experimented with a bigger soundscape with more drums than I had ever used before.
For “The Owls Are Not What They Seem” I went back to basics. After having done an acoustic solo tour for my album Florida Acoustic in 2010 I felt I was in my best element when I was playing and singing at the same time without the restrains of headphones and click-tracks. So I decided to make an ablum that was the essence of that me. Just something I could record in my bedroom without the pressure of a big production, time and opinions from others. All the songs on “The Owls Are Not What They Seem” are recorded that way. Me – playing and singing at the same time, then sparsely adding other instruments to enhance and highlight where I thought it was needed. My goal was to keep it down and make an acoustic album with a live, organic feel to it. I had no interest in changing the world or inventing something new. I just wanted to make a beautiful acoustic album. And here it is: “The Owls Are Not What They Seem”
Last night I played at the Fresh Brewed Coffee House in Myrtle Beach, SC and when they heard that I had a few days off they kindly invited me to do another show on Monday January 9th. So around 5.30pm I’ll play some songs in the front room.
If you can’t catch me in Myrtle Beach you might want to try South Port, NC where I’m playing January 11th at the Playhouse 211.
I also did a house concert in Hartsville the other day. I think house concerts are the best because they’re so intimate and you get to meet so wonderful people. It’s really easy to host a house concert too and I’ll come and play in your living room if you want to. Here’s some simple guidelines for how you host a house concert: how to throw a house concert
If you decide this is something you would like to do; check out my concert schedule to see when your state is listed and then go here to contact me.
Here’s some pics from the house concert in Hartsville.
So you thought the year was over? That there would be no more Sofia-songs to enjoy? Well you thought wrong. As a special treat we still have “E – Part Four of H.A.TE” coming up December 1st like an early Christmas gift.
I’m so happy to tell you that the last EP of the H.A.T.E saga is being recorded by Swedish band Akribi, who is the first band in the project to have a female singer (and she’s pretty damn hot too!).
In a sea of generic female-fronted metal bands, Akribi blatantly defies the worn-out gothic/operatic formula, staying uncompromisingly true to its progressive- and melodic metal roots. Based in the Swedish metal capital of Gothenburg, Akribi delivers its own brand of metal influenced by genre-defining acts such as Dream Theater, Symphony X and Marillion, but also by bands far outside the progressive genre.
Their debut album “Black Morning Sun” has recently been released to great acclaim, with reviewers calling it: “a jewel of an album, and a must have for fans of new progressive metal” and “premier league prog metal immaculately recorded with impeccable sound“, with the band being called: “one of the best female fronted progressive metal bands I’ve ever heard“.
So my hopes for Akribi’s addition to H.A.T.E is sky high!
Akribi has actually already sent me a teaser by a few pics from the studio. Let the count down begin!
If you want to catch Badmouth and all these awesome songs live – get your ass over to RoQ in Stockholm, Sweden this Friday for their releaseparty. And if you can’t wait – get their EP WHICH IS RELEASED TODAY!!!! here: Sofia’s music store, Itunes, Amazon