From the opening strums of Big Sky Country, the newest album – 6th, overall – from Sweden’s Sofia Talvik, you know you’re in for an aural pleasure experience. Her sweet, rich and enveloping voice immediately draws you in and the fullness of the songs captures your attention, enhanced by the just-right production. Acoustic-based, melody-built – a fine, fine work. Even though this young lady is from Sweden, I’d place her at the forefront of the American vanguard. One listen will tell you why and how.
“Aha Aha” opens the album and straps you in for the ride down this dusty, sun-setting musical highway; “Big Sky Country” is a melodic and melancholic, near Irish-folk-feel singalong while “Dusty Heart, Empty Hand” is pure Nashville with its pedal steel runs and banjo. “Lullaby” is a sweet, gentle piano based track with interestingly contradictory lyrics (“…everything’s beautiful – still you wish you were dead…”); “A Matter Of The Hearts” is a vocal showcase – you can hear the natural skill in her singing and the feeling she conveys; “Bonfire” is a uptempo acoustic piece (without percussion) that builds with dramatic (yet not overboard) flair. “Fairground” is an acoustic shuffle with beautiful background harmonies and one of the album’s standouts; “So” closes out the album in a subdued yet emotional manner.
Having only just been introduced to Ms. Talvik’s work, I can now consider myself a fan and will begin to work my way backward through her sizeable catalog. This album, Big Sky Country, by Sofia Talvik has made itself another early favorite in 2015.
Photo by Jonas Westin
Big Sky Country is released in April, 2015