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.
I’ve never been much of a cover singer, but if you followed me for a while you know I sometimes try. So now that it’s coming on Christmas so to say 😉 I thought I’d post this live recording of me singing Joni Mitchell’s song “River”. Next year I will release a live album, so this is like a little taste of what’s to come. Enjoy!
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]
[quote] “Talvik’s fairytale-like soundscape features her sweet, airy vocals (think Joni Mitchell and Sandy Denny), gentle finger-picking, intermediate chord changes and catchy pop melodies, all behind enchanting and romantic lyrics.” [/quote]
CDbaby writes me in their email: “We’re *really* picky about what we feature. We get about 200-250 new albums a DAY coming in here now, (about 200,000 total), and yours is one of the best we’ve ever heard.”
Read the full review here: http://cdbaby.com/cd/sofiatalvik3
SOFIA TALVIK: Jonestown
Fresh from a powerful performance at 2008’s Lollapalooza festival, Sweden’s Sofia Talvik is now poised to conquer the States with the release of her devastatingly beautiful third album. It’s a record of staggering elegance, with the faintest trace of Scandinavian twee and youthful exuberance. (Timpani, crisp castanets, tambourine, all the toys and tricks to put some bounce in your step.) But those forces are tempered by a subtle melancholy that slowly drips down the lonely walls while you listen until, by the last song, you’re drowning in a warm, welcome bath of sad sounds, syrupy string sections, and round, resonant horns. She combines modal chord changes and beautiful 60’s euro-pop production with the gentle singing of a 70’s folk songstress. Her voice shines through the dark tones of dramatic, lush orchestrations and the haze of reverb like a ray of liquid luminescence. “Jonestown” will remind you of Goldfrapp, Pulp, Nico, Joni Mitchell, Nick Drake, Belle & Sebastian, Aimee Mann, Tori Amos, Burt Bacharach (I could go on and on!), and yet it sounds entirely original and, more importantly, rings true.
Salvo Magazine appoints December their mp3 of the month in their upcoming issue. Read it first here!
MP3 of the Month Sofia Talvik – December
It’s not very often I come across Folk music that’s to my taste. Maybe it’s just a genre that doesn’t really do that much for me, I don’t know. Now, before all Folk artists out there get all defensive and start writing in complaining that I’m dissing them as a collective, please, save your venting, you couldn’t be further from the truth.
You see, although I’m not the biggest lover of Folk music in general, when it’s done properly, like pretty much any genre (especially Classical but that’s a totally different story), it can be stunning.
Look at artists like Gemma Hayes, Kathryn Williams, Nick Drake, Tom McRae or Cara Dillon, with the latter especially being truly sublime. Folk absolutely is a genre that’s both under appreciated whilst also being a backbone to music as a whole and one we must all embrace ‘for the greater good’.
That’s what leads me onto Sofia. We decided to choose December as our MP3 of the month above all other tracks off her most recent long playing effort Street of Dreams as it would be too easy to choose the single It’s Just Love based on the facts that 1 – it’s a single already and 2 – it’s a duet with one of my personal heroes, Bernard Butler, now, that would bias the vote ten fold. No, what sets December apart from the bunch is that it’s just so much more delicate than the others.
With a vocal range tinged by echoes of Dolores Mary O'Riordan Burton from the Cranberries blended with a light heartedness that in some ways isn’t too distant from Joni Mitchell in her heyday all those years ago, December has managed to remain on constant replay for a good while now and will continue to do so until another track off the album takes our fancy. Featuring an accent that does at times sound Irish it’s almost unnoticeable that she is in fact from Sweden. Don’t worry. We’ll keep the Abba references to a minimum.
Sofia has obviously been working as a solo artist for long enough now to realise where she wants to get, it’s abundantly clear that she’s working with people who are on her wavelength and are helping her do that
If there was ever a time for artists like Sofia to be in the forefront it’s got to be now, we’ve got others Acoustic Soloists like James Morrison and Blunt pushing acoustic based song writing into the mainstream and whilst we really shouldn’t pin all of our hopes on artists like these, god help us if we did, it is great to see that every now and then artists like Sofia do get the spotlight shone in their direction. 2007 should be the year that spotlight gets turned to face her and we wish her all the best when it does.
I am also green with envy that she’s worked with a hero, but I’ll get over that so don’t worry too much..