Flikka – 'Stop Me From' (single)
Another day, another, unrequited love, introspection, guilt and ‘self-discovery’ song. I challenge anyone to write one about the Salisbury Poisonings, the Rohinga Massacre (why has no-one tackled that? Where are you Bob?), or the failure of this year’s banana crop in Ecuador. Seriously.
To be fair to Flikka, this one is a little different.
She says, “I wrote this song while going through a difficult time. I had a lot of anxiety and regret and I couldn't sleep. I remember calling up my father in the middle of the night asking what to do with the state I was in. He told me to pick up my guitar and so I did, and this song happened. This was the first song I wrote for the Flikka project and it’s really about looking for love in the wrong places. It's one of my most personal songs, which makes it hard to talk about. Sometimes you trust people who you shouldn't trust. It's kind of funny how some people can treat you like shit and make you feel guilty about it.”
How is it different? Well, it’s slow, for a start, which is far more appropriate to the subject matter than a rapid-fire pop banger. And it’s in the minor key it should be in, for the same reason. She sounds sad and confused, convincingly.
But often the reasons for liking a song are more obscure and they can have much to do with how it reminds you of another artist. I may have mentioned Essex girl Polly Scattergood in a previous review. To my mind, one of the most under-rated artists in the country; a classmate of Adele at the Brit School and more talented if you ask me. But enough of that, the review isn’t about Polly. On the other hand Flikka is the closest Nordic artist I’ve heard to Polly in her presentation.
And that final seven seconds, from 3:22 to 3:29 are so reminiscent of the final ones of Polly’s ‘I hate the way’ that it is uncanny.
Flikka is adopted from the Swedish word 'flicka' which means 'girl'; she took the name growing up in her native Stockholm having found that being seen as “such a “harmless” thing as a girl” gave her the freedom to be wild, fearless and to have provocative self-belief. Flikka started her musical education singing in choirs before attending music school where she found the hierarchies too strict; so much so, she almost changed her path and set sights on a career as an actor.
Then one of her two brothers came calling at just the right time, drawing her back into music with the offer of singing in his high school band. Flikka suddenly experienced a freedom she couldn’t find anywhere else and began to write her own music, performing in the subway in Stockholm and recording in her parents’ basement.