Big Sky Country
Kaleidoscopic and Cinematic American Folk Songs via Scandinavia.
Songs from this album kept popping up on my I-player over the last few weeks when it was on ‘shuffle;’ and they have tormented me because; driving at the time I was unable to see who the artist was.
Now I’m in the comfort of my office/studio/back bedroom I can sit back and let these eleven sumptuously gorgeous songs wash over me; as they are intended.
The album opens with the pensive; and quaintly titled Aha-Aha; which allows Sofia to catch you unawares; because this haunting story edges towards sensory overload at times; but left me wanting; no, needing more of the same.
Thankfully we get more; although no two songs are the same, most offer stories often of epic proportions; which is peculiar for Folk songs; but that’s the only way I can describe the production here.
Sofia’s voice is warm, sensitive and expressive in equal quantities especially on Dusty Heart/Empty Heart and Give Me a Home; with Fairground being very cinematic the way she presents the words and story to a delightful tune and melody.
While I urge you to listen to this album as a complete ‘piece’ toe songs specifically stand out for your attention; the sensitive treatment of Buffy Sainte-Marie’s Starwalker is truly wonderful; but the title track Big Sky Country is Country-Folk at its very, very best and should catch the attention of the movers and shakers in our industry.
Normally; with new artists I try to steer you towards someone that they sound like; but here it would be unfair; as, while Sofia Talvik should appeal to fans of Nanci Griffith, Mary Gauthier and Emmylou Harris, her crystal clear voice sounds unlike anyone else I can think of.
Yet again some of the finest Americana to grace these pages doesn’t come from America at all; but from a young Swedish woman living in Germany. Who would have thought that?
Released UK & Europe January 22 2016