One of the greatest pleasures in our first year has been to help introduce new Nordic artists to the UK and back home who are releasing debut material. Of course most of these artists have been performing for a while, have excellent reputations from those that have seen them, but it just takes a while (or sometimes an age) to get formal material released. A great example of this is Anna Scharling, who, in her self titled debut EP, has written a beautiful set of songs, with a voice so pure and individual, that we’re delighted to be able to write a few words of introduction.
The Danish songwriter comes across as a storyteller as much as a musician, and with generally bare instrumentations, there’s an intimacy and unspoilt sound to her songs – maybe not as intimate as other artists we’ve written about like Sara Forslund or Siv Jakobsen, but Anna Scharling's sound is different, her voice slightly more powerful and the songs are less melancholy too. ‘From Hope’ is a positive sounding song, and I love the piano accompaniment and free spirited melody that goes with it – the video below really shows the strength of the vocals, and the character of her as a performer.
‘The Highest Bidder’ switches to mainly acoustic guitar backing, and in this track it’s the lyrics that capture my attention, thoughtful and expressive. ‘Meant to Be’ has a quirky tune, whilst ‘Paper Plane’ is delicate flower of a song, which grows in intensity and even the thinnest instrumentation is almost too much for the vocals. I also love the unplugged final track ‘Grandpa’s Dog Died’ – it again showcases the excellent vocals and clever lyrics, and performed unplugged there’s no doubt of Anna Scharling’s capability as a live performer too (if only the Nordic church in Liverpool had a grand piano…).
This is lovely debut EP which is easy to like, the songs are well written with nice tunes, it tells interesting stories and Scharling’s outstanding voice is always a stand out feature. Whilst I’m not suggesting that this will take the music world by storm, there is a genuine appreciative crowd of music fans who love Nordic artists such as this, and I really hope that her music can be heard by many more people.
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