This one from the ‘Swedish Dreamgaze Artist’ Rebecka Reinhard slipped through the net, having been released on 12th May.
The ‘Spotify Strategy’ of hooking the audience in with a memorable opening section in the first few seconds is much in evidence. It’s a ballad which suddenly morphs into a 1960s style jangly guitar/pumping bass pop song which you might even imagine the Stones playing and Rebecka ensures the tune never flags from beginning to end. Text book stuff.
Lyrically, her voice is clear as a bell. Mutterers please note (there have been a few of those recently).
Musically she does remind me a little of her compatriot Sofia Härdig (who may not yet have been reviewed here in NMR) while vocally she’s close to both Teresa Woischiski of Ghosts of Helags (single review coming soon) and Las Vegas’ own Jenny Lewis. That makes for an intriguing assortment but whichever way you look at it her voice is sweet.
There’s a further connection to Lewis in that her lyrics are both punchy and articulate (though not quite in Jenny’s league just yet) and have a socio-political theme woven in.
Rebecka says, “‘Whale’ sounds happy but is quite sad and cynical and has a deep, hidden melancholy, a bit like old soul songs like ‘Tracks of My Tears’. It has syncopations and little breaks going back and forth between quiet and loud and ends up on a major seventh.” I hope you’re taking notes.
I would argue though that making comparisons with anything by Smokey Robinson should be avoided just now after the BBC showed his Hyde Park concert from a couple of years ago and then made it available on the red button. I thought they’d substituted a wax dummy.
‘Whale’ is the first song to be taken from Rebecka’s forthcoming EP of the same name, due for release later this summer. Recorded between London and the Swedish countryside, the record comes “after years of musical and personal discovery.” Having left her native Stockholm, Rebecka moved to Paris, before relocating to London in 2014.
It was there that her musical trajectory solidified, and in the summer of 2018, she recorded with producer Anders Kallmark, who has worked on songs for pop royalty like Kylie Minogue. ‘Whale’ follows the release of Rebecka’s last EP ‘Valentine Road’, which included tracks like ‘Nonsense in Your Sleep’, ‘Lydia’ and ‘Substitute Song’.