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  • Writer's pictureAndy Wors

Sara Forslund - 'Water Became Wild'

With a good number of really promising albums either hitting our inbox at Nordic Music Review or due for release, I'm feeling even more upbeat than normal about the quality of new Nordic music out there at the moment. This has been boosted further by a really striking and beautifully written album by Swedish singer songwriter Sara Forslund, called ‘Water Became Wild’.

Sara Forslund was born in a small village in the North of Sweden, the daughter of the local priest, and she’s been writing and singing music from a very early age. After a release with Folk / Drone band ‘Birch and Meadow’ in 2013, Sara has gone on to work with fellow singer songwriter David Ahlen to produce this debut album, and its been mixed by legendry John Wood, who has also worked with Nick Drake and Fairport Convention.

'Water Became Wild' is an album completely stripped back, personal and bare in its approach. In terms of its minimalist reliance on guitar and vocals, it does have some similarities with Mirel Wagner, for example, but actually it's very different in sound and tone. It's intense without being over burdening, and whist undoubtedly melancholy, its never too dark or bitter. Its particularly great, I’ve found, if you just turn it up really loud and let it completely take over every little corner of your house. Quiet music can be loud.

After the atmospheric ‘Stay Love’, an acoustic guitar and gritty cello bites into a bottom string and the title track ‘Water became Wild’ is offered. Almost instantly I’m charmed by the apparent simple beauty, it feels so personal and genuine. The texture of the music seems so important, every note and additional instrument is used so sparingly, but always so effectively, and always in conjunction with the lyrics. There are no wasted notes or words here.

There are plenty of highlights. Standing out is ‘Morning is Leaving’, a gorgeous piano melody haunts the track, and the vocals act as an accompaniment. But a collection of songs later in the album, ‘Twisted Wind’ and ‘The Dream’ are so beautifully constructed around apparently simple themes – and when trumpet, cello, guitar and vocals suddenly combine in the latter stages of ‘Singing me Through’, it offers an added intensity and emphasis, it's very clever indeed.

Photos by Lisa Ljunggren

This is a pretty special album. It is intimate, intelligently written and utterly absorbing. The additional instrumentation works brilliantly, Svante Henryson shows just how versatile an instrument the cello is, and the sparing use of a trumpet, particularly in ‘Did you Ever’ is completely spellbinding. I accept completely that such a stripped back album may not be too everyones liking, but please invest some time in this, because I genuinely believe it offers so much. Sara Forslund has written and co-produced an album in 'Water Became Wild' that’s worthy of anyones music collection.

Nordic Music Review 9/10

Sara Forslunds 'Water Became Wild' is released through VOLKOREN, I found it on Itunes and Amazon download really easily. Theres also a stunning deluxe version linked above at Time Released Sound. Shes also hoping to do a few UK dates in the Autumn, which will be great, and we'll let you know when those are announced.

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