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.
“…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”
We’ve been touring for little over a month now and gone from sunny Florida to cold North Carolina. I’ve overcome my fear of driving the RV and since Jonas fixed the cruise control I don’t mind driving at all. But there’s still one thing that scares me. What if the RV falls over. Every time we’re on a sharp curve on a highway exit I dread this. Even though Jonas says there’s no chance of that happening I still feel like it could happen.
After spending a few days in Savannah, GA (what a wonderful city!) I decided we had to buy bikes so we could bike whenever we came to a city like that. So we got one off Craig’s list and one from Walmart. For a few days the bikes were parked inside the RV and were taking up all the space we had. Because even if a bike is only $50 at Walmart, a bike rack for the RV is way more expensive. It doesn’t make sense at all, but we had to get one so we did. Only if we were to mount the bike rack we had to dismount the spare tire. So now instead of bikes we’ve had a hundred year old spare tire in the RV. No it didn’t fit into any of the storage compartments. Someone said we should put it under the bed but it’s old and smelly and had dead frogs and moss on it. So I don’t really think it’s going to be useful if we ever come to need a spare tire in the future.
The day after we got the bike rack and put the bikes on it we stayed in the parking lot behind the bar where I played in Charleston, SC and in the middle of the night I woke up of sounds and the RV rocking (you’d think it’s steady but it’s like a boat really). I looked out through the bedroom window and there was a guy trying to do something to the bikes, probably steal them. That’s not really something you want to wake up to. As soon as he saw my face in the window though he took off, but I couldn’t go back to sleep for hours and then I had nightmares the rest of the night.
Everything got better once we came to Wilmington, NC and stayed a night with our friend Majsan. Wilmington is such a beautiful town. Actually all the towns we’ve been to since Savannah has been pretty great. We’re in in Winston-Salem, NC now and it’s beautiful. We’ve biked around the city which doesn’t have much of a city center but lots of beautiful houses. The gigs have all been great too. Sometimes one would wish for a larger audience, but at least the people who’ve shown up have been there to listen to me and that’s what’s important after all. I was pretty disappointed that SxSW didn’t come through with an official invite this year. I’ve been incited the last three years of which I’ve played two. And every time I’ve had to pay for expensive plane tickets and hotels for me and the band. So when I’m finally here, doing a great tour, having a new CD out January 31st, they don’t invite me. But I still have a few unofficial SxSW shows so if you’re going to be there you can still see me play.
So I just told you I love food… Well I also love shoes. And any girl who loves shoes knows it’s more like an addiction. There are ladies who loves handbags. Me, I buy one that I love after many hours looking for the perfect one and wear it till it falls apart (quite literally).
But shoes… They’re quite a different story. I guess I could say I’m a shoe collector with no intention of being one. I see them and I think I shouldn’t. I think I have too many already. And yet they call out to me. Their tiny voices saying “buy me, buy me”.
So today with 15 minutes to spare between work and party I found these great not too high heeled boots on sale (of course).
I asked if they had a return policy – no.
I asked if I could have them reserved until tomorrow – no.
(At this point I felt I’d done all I could to turn them down.)
What was left to do but to buy them?
In a weak moment I heard myself saying” I’ll take them”, while picturing my overfull wardrobe at home, and at the same time picturing someone else walking away in these boots on sale in my size…
Walking to the party with the bag in my hand, I kept thinking how my husband would sigh over me buying yet another pair of shoes I don’t need. So when I called him later from the bar and told him about that new pair of shoes that would clutter our apartment I dreaded the worst but he said… “Honey, I love you and all your shoes”.
And I guess that’s a story of true love, whether you apply it to the shoes or the wife buying them.
This motel room seems so depressing right now. We had such a good time together here. I tried to spend some time by the pool but it’s really windy today and a lot of clouds. It feels like something has gone horribly wrong, me being here without the guys, like I overslept and missed the plane or something. Fortunately I’ll meet up with Worldsound tonight, and maybe some other friends. Some facebook friends invited me to some bar tonight as well, which is really nice of them, but I dread going back downtown Austin now that the festival is over. It feels like the place is going to be deserted and I want to remember it like it was last night with loads and loads of people on 6th street, bands playing in every bar and an air of opportunies… I’ll probably lurk at the motel and write a song about my self pity…