SoLBLoMMa - 'Vara själv' (Be yourself) (single)
This is the first time that I’ve featured the quirky Swede SoLBLoMMa in Nordic Music Review. She’s unique, a philosophy graduate and free artistic spirit, and originally a native of Gävle, the Swedish town with a remarkable musical legacy. She has quite a history, having covered many genres including, believe it or not, Death Metal, during a chequered career. She’s multi-skilled, making her own videos to promote her electronic alt-pop work, runs her own label (Blomkraft) and even multi-tasks as a puppet master and as a clown. She designs online IQ games and she even rivals Pete Waterman and Michael Portillo as a railway geek; you can’t get quirkier than that.
Vocally, while I again stress her uniqueness, you can identify at least bits of Cyndi Lauper, Clare Grogan (Altered Images), and Polly Scattergood in her voice.
This truncated analysis from Electronic Magazine is priceless:
“Think Depeche Mode booted out the back of a Transit van on a cold, dark winter’s night, think Lykke Li taken by the dark side, think Kylie with Winehouse’s problems, think Björk dating Goldie… then we begin to see something remotely resembling Solblomma. With eyes you could stand teacups on, she’s got something of the Cheryl Cole about her… only with a Katie Price makeover… at night… with doll’s clothes.”
She writes both in Swedish and English but seems to be on a lengthy Swedish run at the moment, with the promise of some more songs in English down the line, with at least one of them connected to trains. 'Vara själv' is her latest single, which she released on 21st March.
This lady isn’t to be underestimated. She’s collaborated with several of Sweden’s leading musicians, some of them attracted by the random juxtaposition of her abilities, especially the IQ games. I’ve tried them, they aren’t easy.
She interprets the title here as ‘to be alone’, sitting by the river, “the only place that I want to be”, like her compatriot Greta Garbo. Perhaps in the circumstances that’s a good move.
There’s less of her typical swirling electronic approach in this track, a little more orchestration, and for the first time I can remember one of her tracks is percussion-led.
If you want to hear her in English I would suggest the song ‘She said nothing’, her personal take on a failed relationship set in a wintry Amsterdam but with a video filmed in Las Vegas. That’s SoLBLoMMa, a total contradiction.