Elin Ivarsson - 'Elin Ivarsson'
It goes without saying that there’s hardly a shortage of talented young Nordic singer songwriters continuing to come through, and a great demonstration of that is the release of the self titled debut album from Swedish songwriter Elin Ivarsson, which is released today, 26th February. The young singer is also based in Brighton, which is particularly good news for us here at Nordic Music Review, because we’re pretty confident that she’ll soon start to get gigs ‘Up North’ and we’ll have chance to see her.
Anyway, the album quite simply is a delightful batch of mainly folk influenced acoustic tracks, which are fragile enough to be compelling, and quirky enough to be both interesting and original. Similarly to the likes of Mani Orrason and even Aurora, both of whom we featured early last year, it’s the maturity of songwriting that makes this album particularly impressive too.
‘Leaving Song’ opens the album, a simple enough track with piano and cello supporting the acoustic guitar, with Elin Ivarsson's voice smooth and wistful. And it’s the subsequent tracks which build the character of the album, ‘Norbotten’, reflecting on her home province, carries a delightful if melancholy tune, whilst the brilliant ‘Luka’ has an ‘impish’ folk melody, and the instrumentation works really well. ‘Sunday 5am’ has a more traditional classical guitar backing, whilst in ‘Tea Song No 1’ the strength of the charming lyrics come through. But quite possibly my favourite tracks are saved until last, both ‘Another Day Will Come’ and ‘Cold Winter Night’ have an emotional quality and intimacy that makes them beautifully compelling.
The strength of Elin Ivarsson's excellent debut is in the songwriting, which feels so natural and has a warmth that makes the album both appealing and convincing – and combined with strong vocals, she just sounds quite simply as if she sings from the heart. I have no doubt that her songwriting will mature as she continues, and that future releases will develop the instrumentation further too, as there are one or two elements which don’t work quite as well for me. However Elin Ivarrson has released a beautiful album which has such character and personality, and with lovely easy to listen to tracks. I really recommend you to take a listen for yourselves.
Nordic Music Review 8/10
Elin Ivarsson's album is released on a great little label in Brighton, Hidden Trail Records, and you can get it digitally here.