# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Sofia Talvik - Paws of a Bear

  by Malcolm Carter

published: 28 / 1 / 2020

Sofia Talvik - Paws of a Bear
Label: Makaki Music
Format: CD


Remarkable set of Americana-influenced songs from Sweden’s most talented singer/songwriter, Sofia Talvik

Swedish singer/songwriter Sofia Talvik blew us away with her ‘Big Sky Country’ album. The album showed Talvik’s take on Americana/country was special; a sound so captivating that few in that genre were capable of matching. Her vocals were warm and inviting while the arrangements and production which were also by Talvik were stunning. So, a few years down the line we have a further ten original songs from Talvik which will, after ‘Big Sky Country’, have to be even more special to top that set. But Talvik has once again upped her game. Not only has Talvik written and produced (it’s a lovely warm production, perfect to carry those living in her country through the long, dark winter nights) another set of thought-provoking beautiful songs ,but she also provided the artwork for ‘Paws of a Bear’ which must rank as one of the most striking album covers of the year. But to the music; pedal steel, strings used to remarkable effect and that lovely woody upright bass all help to create a world that it’s impossible not to be drawn into as Talvik reflects upon matters of the heart, ageing, death even, subjects that affect us all and that are instantly recognisable. Then there’s that voice. It’s a thing of beauty. There are so many excellent female vocalists making music right now, more so than any other era in music, so to make their mark, to be heard, they have to offer something special. It’s difficult to pinpoint just what makes Talvik’s vocals stand out from the rest. ‘Pharaohs and Friends’ not only showcases Talvik’s storytelling talents and her gift for memorable melodies but displays one facet of her vocal abilities; at times it feels she’s whispering the words into your ear while still sounding powerful. It is subtle but effective and the listener is compelled to focus on that voice. ‘Blood Moon’ best displays just how talented the musicians backing Talvik on these tracks are. Tim Fleming plays pedal steel, dobro and trumpet, guitars are handled by Marcus Högquist, Janne Manninen plays bass while Joakim Lundgren occupies the drum stool. It also shows that Talvik is not confined to any one genre; there are shades of the blues seeping through here and the song displays a harder side to Talvik’s music confirming that, although we’d be happy to have a dozen variations of the opening song, ‘Take Me Home’ which features beautiful, longing vocals from Talvik, here is an artist who isn’t confined to any one genre. And while we are on the subject of her vocals, one play of ‘Siren Song’ will be enough to convince the listener that Talvik really is a vocalist in a class of her own. Her performance on this one song is worth the price of the album alone. The atmosphere conjured up by percussionist Lundgren and Fleming’s weeping pedal steel is both haunting and captivating. Coupled with those remarkable vocals, the song can’t fail to impress. ‘Paws of a Bear’ is one of those albums where you wish you could simply reproduce the lyrics to here; it seems pointless to pick a few lines to show just how talented Talvik is. Her words will resonate with everyone and we can all relate to her sentiments, especially as she is one of those singers who you can’t fail to believe; there’s honesty shining through every word on this album. Songs such as the beautiful ‘Reflections’ will touch us all at some point. Lyrics about the passing of time, growing old and missed opportunities have never sounded so true, so sad yet so beautiful. It was a concern if Talvik had already reached her peak; with a quality back catalogue that other artists can only hope to get close to Talvik has already made her mark, but with this latest set of songs she has set the bar even higher. It’s a beautifully played, produced and arranged set of songs and Talvik’s voice has never sounded better. There is just one complaint. Why aren’t her albums available to those living in her home country available from Sweden’s biggest record supplier? No releases are listed by Talvik yet they are available to purchase from Amazon in the UK. It seems Talvik’s home country might be missing out on their most talented artist. And a last thought…check out Talvik’s Facebook page for a link to download her latest Christmas song; it’s not your usual seasonal song and well worth a listen as is her Christmas album from a few years ago.

Track Listing:-
1 Take Me Home
2 Siren Song
3 California Snow
4 Reflections
5 Paws of a Bear
6 Pharaohs and Friends
7 Blood Moon
8 Wrapped in Paper
9 I Liked You Better
10 Die Alone

Band Links:-

Post A Comment

your name
ie London, UK
Check box to submit

digital downloads




Big Sky Country (2015)
Convincing sixth full-length album from Sofia Talvik shows the Swedish singer developing her take on Americana to produce her strongest album to date

most viewed articles

most viewed reviews

Pennyblackmusic Regular Contributors