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.
This has been a great year with lots of stuff happening. I made 4 EP albums with 4 different producers, the wonderful guys in my backing band. And all of you chipped in and funded the releases so that we were able to finish the project. 4 ass-kicking metal bands did 4 ass-kicking cover albums of my EPs and one of them actually released a video too (or rather will release in a few days so I’m cheating by telling you now) Badmouth made a video of their cover of my song “To watch the bridges burn”, check it out here!
Throughout the year I have worked hard to get an artist visa to the US, and thanks again to my wonderful fans who helped out with house concert contracts and letters of recommendation I finally got my visa and packed my things and went to Florida in November. In December my big “Drivin’ & Dreaming tour” took off and I’ve now been all around Florida playing in different venues. One unexpected thing that I experienced is that I had at least a few loyal fans show up for every gig. I didn’t know there’s be so many of you!
Throughout the tour we’ve had the RV break down and fixed, nothing major yet thank God. We’ve been invited to have dinner with Greg and Michelle of The Refinery, Tampa, for southern shrimps and grits at Sian and Otis’ in St Petes and to stay the night in a really cool A frame cottage with Doris in Melrose to mention a few of all the lovely people we’ve encountered along the way.
It’s now time to say good bye to Florida and head up to South Carolina and Georgia for January. Many new experiences are to come, many new shows to be played. We’re heading into new states and a new year. In January my new album “The Owls Are Not What They Seem” will be released and I hope you will continue to support my tour as I go through America in my old RV – Drivin’ and Dreaming.
Today is the day when the L.O.V.E & H.A.T.E saga has reached it’s end as “E – Part Four of H.A.T.E” is released. I’m extra happy to see that the last metal band in this project has a female singer, and that it doesn’t make it one bit less hard rock than the other EPs.
You can now listen to and buy “E – Part Four of H.A.T.E” by Akribi on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon and all your other favorite online stores. You can also stream (and buy) the entire EP here!
Thank you to all who have participated in the project through pledging, and to all the great metal bands who worked hard to make my songs their own. I’m blown away by they wonderful job they’ve done and I can’t wait to hear more from all of them!
The last part of the H.A.T.E saga is coming to en end. Swedish rockers Akribi is releasing the EP “E – Part Four of H.A.T.E” December 1st and a year of music has gone by. I’ve had such a great time hearing my songs in new suits. First with all the L.O.V.E EPs which were each produced by one of the guys in my band and ranged from acoustic to pop to electronica to americana. And then the biggest difference of all with the awesome four metal bands Ball of Mayhem, G.A.I.N, Badmouth and Akribi who turned my songs into thundering hard rock! It proves that a song never has to be stuck in one genre – at least if it’s a good song 😉
You can listen to all the EPs HERE and pre-order Akribi’s EP HERE!
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!
L – Part One of the L.O.V.E saga was released in February. We’re working on “O” which will be released in the beginning of summer. But you might not have known that the L.O.V.E saga has an evil twin called H.A.T.E …
H.A.T.E will consist of 4 EPs, just like L.O.V.E. They will even contain the same songs. So what’s the difference? Well H.A.T.E is the rock version of L.O.V.E. Four rock bands will make one EP each. First out is British band Ball of Mayhem. I managed to get a little interview with Dave Chrisp from the band, and here’s what he’s got to say about their upcoming EP “H”.
Hi David! You’re part of the rock band Ball of Mayhem that is about to release the first EP “H” in the H.A.T.E quadrology. We’re so excited for the release! Tell us a little bit about your band! Hi.Well Ball Of Mayhem started about ten years ago then under the name Slugfist by my brother Terry (Lead vocals, rhythem guitar) and Stephen (Bass). Since then it has had a few line up changes. I joined about three years ago and our Drummer Jack and Lead guitarist Zac joined just last year. We are all from and are based in the North East of England. Our name kind of represents the sheer variety in our sound, while all of our songs are what you would call heavy there is a big mix of catchy power metal songs with soaring vocal harmonies to out and out stomping metal with monster riffs! We like to keep our sets so you just dont know what is coming next.
How did you get involved in the project? Well I’d like to say it was something rock and roll like we got talking backstage at Glastonbury or something but it was actually through Facebook. I saw Sofia’s post asking for Metal bands to be involved in a project so I replied to that and here we are!
Sofia’s music is quite different from Ball of Mayhem’s. Have you listened to Sofia’s music before and what was it like to interpret the songs? Yeah I was familiar with Sofia’s music for a long time before this project. I’m a fan of Bernard Butler and first heard of Sofia after they did “It’s just love” together and have always kept up with what Sofia has been doing.
It was a lot of fun working on the songs, we got to work as soon as we received her EP. Me and Tez (Terry) just sat in his conservatory listening to it over a few beers and straightaway had a good idea as to what form each song would take. Once we started arranging them it was pretty obvious that they were going to work really well as metal/rock songs. Usually it’s the other way around, singer/songwriters that turn rock songs into sweet mellow versions. Do you think it’s harder turning an acoustic song into a rock song or why do you think that is? I dont think it is, in a way I think it gave us more scope for arrangements as metal/rock is so broad and there are so many different styles of it that can be applied. We were able to add to the basic structure of the songs while not making them unrecognizable from the originals. It would of course be easy just to speed everything up, put loads of guiars on and scream all the way through but we wanted to keep them as “Proper songs” so we went for that big metal anthem sound on all of them. I think if you are going to do a cover you really need to put your own stamp on it otherwise what is the point?
How is this EP different from what you usually play? While we do have catchy songs in our set I would say that these are generally more melodic than what would would normally do. We would perhaps keep a catchy melody/hook for a chorus or a break but these songs have that throughout. The subject matter is not something we would normally sing about either! I dont think any of us would dare turn up to a practice and say “Hey I’ve wrote this really heartfelt song about a love lost that I want us to try…..”
Which is your favorite of the 4 songs and why? Tough question as personally I have favourite bits of them all. Sofia’s versions I’d say Nothing quite so gentle, it just sounds like a single and is a great vocal, great melody, this was probably the easiest to cover.
Our versions I’d have to say Bittersweet bliss, the chorus is a really nice lift after the almost spoken verses, this one really rips along. But the intro to Everyones favourite concubine is a real band favourite, when it kicks in it is just huge with Jacks thumping doubles on the drums with the pounding guitars yet still has that nice little riff that is being picked on the original. We actually had an idea for a song that we never used that started like this and it just fitted perfect when we tried it out. We’re planning on playing this live in a couple of weeks as a set closer and we’ve already had people pop in at practice saying how awesome it sounds.
What’s next for Ball of Mayhem? We’ve just came first in a Battle Of The Bands competition which was great for us, we are starting to get more widespread gigs now which we hope continues as we are starting to get a nice little fanbase now. We’re hitting the studio to record our next EP next month which we plan to release later this year. We have some really big songs that we cant wait to get recorded.
After that who knows, maybe take over Sweden?!, I’ve heard it’s nice there.