On her new 9th album ‘Center of the Universe’, Swedish born musician; Sofia Talvik, brings together her own distinctive nordic melancholy, Laurel Canyon vibes and modern folk mixed with bluegrass, further defining the path that is uniquely hers.
Throughout the 10 songs on the album, there is a broad range of topics of some of life’s most earnest moments, ranging from the Ukraine War, American women’s rights, the thousands of missing children in the US and the torment of domestic violence survivors across the world.
About ‘Center of the Universe’:
Imagine yourself in a small rural village in Sweden. White-trimmed wooden houses that date back several hundred years are tucked in between the pines and birch tees next to the quiet lake where the sunlight glitters like gold on the gentle ripple. All around you, you can hear the buzzing of bumblebees, birds singing in the trees, and the sheep are grazing in a nearby pasture, surrounded by a hand tied willow fence.
This is Sulegång and it’s the place Sofia Talvik chose to record her new album ‘Center of the Universe’.
With a group of carefully selected musicians; Peyton Clifford and Drake Duffer on accordion, guitar, and mandolin (both hailing from North Carolina) and Janne Manninen on bass (from Sweden), she built up a studio in the living room of one of the old houses.
2020 was the year when Swedish singer/songwriter Sofia Talvik was going on tour to promote her new album Paws of a Bear, but that all went down the drain when the world was hit with the Covid pandemic. In 2022 she could finally play the songs live for all the people who had waited for it, and this year she’s releasing her new album “Center of the Universe” along with playing a whopping 50+ Summer and Fall dates all over the U.S.
”Lots of people released albums during the pandemic, because there wasn’t much else to do, but I didn’t want to ”waste” another album by not being able to tour with it”, says Sofia. ”Also, many of the songs were written during the pandemic, including 2 songs for a good friend who passed away, as well as reflections about war and refugees, in particular about the Ukraine. There has been a lot to write about these past couple of years.”
The album was recorded over a week in an old Swedish rural village that has been around since the 1500’s. Bringing over two American musicians for the recordings, that she met in NC on her 2022 tour, she has taken her mix of Swedish melancholy and American folk to the next level.
”When I heard Drake and Peyton (of the band Discount Rothko) play last year I instantly knew I wanted to work with them. The way they played was both modern and traditional at the same time and I could really hear that being a great complement to my songs.”
Together they built a studio in the living room of an old traditional wooden house and created magic. Sofia’s unique songwriting and crystal clear voice brought together with a more Americana and bluegrass feel with mandolin and accordion. You can even hear the birds outside sing along on some of the songs.
The album will be released about mid-tour, but the new songs will be a part of the repertoire from the start.
The tour takes Sofia from the East Coast to the West Coast and then some. Touring in her 1989 Winnebago Warrior Lil’Chief with husband Jonas Westin on driving duty and sound design, she is playing everything from house concerts to theaters. Evoking the sounds of Laurel Canyon and the intimate coffee houses of the 60s and 70s, Sofia’s shows will treat the audience not just to beautiful music but also to stories from her many tours and her life as a full-time artist of over 10 years.
On days off she takes Lil’Chief and seeks out the wilderness in the U.S, enjoying the less crowded parts of the country, national forests and parks along the route.
”That’s one thing I love about touring in an RV. I get to see so much that other touring artists from Europe never get to see. And you can really tell it reflects in my songs as well, it’s a true inspiration to get to experience the vast and beautiful nature here”, says Sofia.
Svensk-Tyska duon Hansan är tillbaka med nya låtar efter 2020s rosade ”Nattflykt”. Nya albumet ”Blod eller bläck” släpps 14e februari och föregås av tre singlar, ”Sommarvisa” som släpptes 2021, ”Vårt långa land” som vann folkets röst i kategorin Nutida Folkmusik på Folk och Världsmusikgalan 2021, men inte har släppts officiellt förrän nu (16/1/2023), samt titelspåret ”Blod eller bläck” (30/1/2023).
Hansan har sina rötter i Folkmusik och Jazz men på nya skivan har de utvecklats både mot mer rytmiska arrangemang samt till svävande filmiska toner – allt med bara cello och sång. Det är nästan så att man ser bilderna framför sig i låten ”Du är allt” och ”Flyger”. Samtidigt kan man ta ett djupt andetag och vila i mjuka jazzpoppiga ”Om vi inte” och ”Sommarvisa”.
Som vi märkte redan på debutalbumet, är texterna är en viktig del av Hansans musik, och även på nya skivan vävs socialrealistiska texter som ”Vårt långa land” – om immigration och utanförskap och ”Vår värld” som tar oss till en dystopisk framtid, ihop med längtan, kärlek och det svenska vemodet.
Det är inte en överdrift att säga att det inte finns något band i Sverige just nu som låter likadant.
Credits: Text och musik: Sofia Talvik & David Floer
Cello: David Floer
Sång: Sofia Talvik
Mix & Master; Hans Olsson, Svenska Grammofonstudion
Sofia Talvik is back with her annual Christmas single. This is a free download.
Go and listen / download it here:
Read more about the release directly from Sofia Talvik on her artist page here:
As an added bonus this year Sofia Talvik also added a stripped down one guitar and vocals version, which is also part of a digital EP called “Notes For Christmas” with acoustic versions of her two latest Christmas singles as well as a traditional Swedish Christmas song performed in Swedish and German.
The Swedish-German duo Hansan released their debut album “Nattflykt” in May 2020. The album has been critically acclaimed in both Swedish and European media.
“Det är Jul” is a stand-alone single, a Christmas song that really reflects the anything but perfect 2020. A dark and lonely Christmas, a Christmas where you crawl out of your skin due to quarantine and social distancing.
“Det är Jul” is nothing like the merry and romantic Christmas songs we normally hear, but with Hansan’s special sound with lush layers of cello and vocals that catches your attention every time you hear them, this is still a given newcomer to all of this year’s Christmas playlists.
Or as Hansan themselves put it, “It’s Christmas, can’t we just live in peace?”.
Hansan’s debut album “Nattflykt” is now available on all streaming platforms and as digital and physical copy on https://hansan.bandcamp.com
Makaki Music is proud to present a new video from Swedish / German folk duo Hansan.
The video for the song “Fjärilsvärld” is a collaboration between Hansan and Tanz-Zentrale Leipzig.
Choreography and dance direction Lisa Hofmann. Dancers: Luzi Madrid Villanueva, Cecilia Nesler, Fine Saelzter, Franzi Becker, Hanna Jacobi, Isabella Grundei, Lara Wunch. Dancers filmed by: Lisa Hofman, Emma Kleiner, Konstantin Tsakalidis, Lara Wunch.
On June 29th acclaimed Swedish artist Sofia Talvik is presenting an unplugged version of “Paws of a Bear” which was released to critical acclaim last Fall.
”Paws of a Bear, finds Talvik taking a more Americana-flavored approach – influenced by Jason Isbell, Valerie June and others” – Billboard.com
“This album is solid gold from start to finish” – Americana Highways
”Talvik’s voice is a thing of thing of singular beauty.” – Goldmine Magazine
When all her shows were canceled due to Corona, Sofia starting doing online concerts – and her fans started asking if there would be any recordings of them available. So on June 29th an unplugged version of Paws of a Bear, with 10 of the original tracks, plus two bonus tracks – all onetakes, with vocals and guitar – will be available on all digital platforms as well as a limited edition of CDs
Hansan is a Swedish / German folk duo with roots in Folk and Jazz. Hansan blends lush haunting vocals with layers of intricate cello arrangements. “Du Du Du” is the first single released from the upcoming debut album.
Hansan captures the Swedish melancholy like few others. Although all the songs on the debut album “Nattflykt” are self-composed, they make you think of everything from Jazz to old traditional folk songs. Hansan draw inspiration from the raging seas and the Swedish magical forests, but also covers more difficult subjects such as the me-too movement (Hej Då) and immigration (Sjung Min Lilla Näktergal).
First single Du Du Du, a song about break-up and independence, is released January 19th.
To make a whole album varied and exciting with just vocals and cello as the only components, Hansan has experimented with mould-breaking arrangements and chord changes that pick elements from both classical chamber music to jazzy grooves. A fifth string on the cello increases the depth of the soundscape and gives it an extra character of bass, and the different layers convey the feeling of an entire orchestra.
Modern yet traditional, light yet heavy – Hansan makes their own niche in Nordic Folk Music.