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.
Indie distributer CDbaby just recently chose my new album The Owls Are Not What They Seem as their editor’s pick, gave it 5 stars and wrote this lovely review!
[quote] In 2008, Sweden’s Sofia Talvik put out an impressive album — Jonestown — which wowed me with its lush orchestrations and catchy, melancholic 60’s-pop songs, tunes that wouldn’t have been out of place on any of Goldfrapp’s NON-disco albums. The following year, Talvik released an equally ambitious, subtly-searing album called Florida that was haunted by the ghosts of Dustbowl folk and countrified Southern Gothic. In 2011, the prolific indie-songstress put out 4 EPs that previewed remixed versions of songs that would end up on this year’s full length, The Owls Are Not What They Seem. The new record is a departure for sure — still catchy in its way, though the earworms have more room to sprawl— still lush, though the flute and string accompaniments are more restrained and the tremolo guitars serve only as punctuation. What’s different this time around? Mood: Owls is a slow-burning folk pop gem that wanders and searches as if dreaming itself into being. Think Nick Drake, Kings of Convenience, and Blue-era Joni Mitchell. Talvik’s voice can be both rich and whispery, and each breath seems to bend toward some hidden sadness, as if tugged by an undercurrent we can’t quite see; but we feel its force as the music unfolds, swirls, and closes around us.[/quote]
At first it seemed like a real challenge to book gigs in Alabama and Mississippi, and some people actually told us we would probably be better off skipping them altogether. Well, let me tell you I’m pretty happy we ignored that advice. If I haven’t played the best venues there is in Alabama, I think my head is going to explode because the places I’ve played here have been some of the best gigs on my tour so far. In beautiful Birmingham I was invited to play Moonlight on the Mountain and got to discover a great singer/songwriter called Nathan Reich who also happens to play guitar in the new hip band Flights. In Auburn I played the low key intimate The Gnu’s Room and in Tuscaloosa I played at The Bama Theatre with local Sparrow and the Ghost and also did a show at the Alabama Art Kitchen. In Cullman I had standing ovations at the 60’s style coffee house Berkely Bob’s Coffee House. Alabama has been so great, it’s actually the only state where I’ve had ONLY good shows.
So here’s a few pics and videos. See you in Arkansas and Texas!
“…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”