With her wistfully gilded 8th full length studio album, Paws of a Bear, Swedish artist Sofia Talvik gazes upon her life’s journey, carefully weighing each chapter. Lead single Take Me Home recently debuted in the top ten on the U.S. Folk Radio Charts, offering a hint of what’s to come for this artist on the rise. Beneath timeless layers of lush string work and a voice as angelic as it is heart-rending, Talvik explores dualities of stagnation and freedom, sacrifice and dream-chasing, work and family, along the way experiencing personal revelations that forever shift her perspectives on time, life and love.
Delving into folk melancholy akin to fellow Swedes First Aid Kit, Paws of a Bear delivers Talvik’s own neatly packaged stories across its 10 stunning tracks. Haunting pedal steel intertwines with warm upright bass, acoustic guitars and piano, creating an ideal foundation for the stark beauty of her vocal work. Her carefully thought-out steps serve her airy productions well, moving between reflections of her childhood on the island of Orust, on Sweden’s west coast (“Take Me Home”), the transformation of age (“Reflections”) and love’s sweet elixir as our greatest, most cherished gift (“Wrapped in Paper”).
“When you’re younger, I don’t think you appreciate things in the same way,” Talvik says. “Different subjects are important to you, and you take much of it for granted. You never stop to look at where you are. Then when you come back to this place a little further down the road, with more wisdom, you see things differently. You see nature in a different way and maybe you appreciate new things you didn’t appreciate before.”
Paws of a Bear plays like a picture book, flipping through some of life’s most earnest moments. Through her laid-back indie-folk, Talvik’s tells her own tale, while giving listeners plenty of room to contemplate their own lives. As the album unfolds, she lures you into her world with stunning heft and grit, once again proving a master of her craft.
Talvik has performed at festivals ranging from Lollapalooza to SXSW, she’s opened for Maria McKee & David Duchovny, and has collaborated with former Suede guitarist Bernard Butler, as well as Tobias Fröberg (Peter Bjorn and John), who produced her 2008 LP Jonestown. Primarily a live artist, Talvik has taken her music across Europe and through 47 U.S. states, riding in her 1989 Winnebago Warrior with her husband and sound technician Jonas at the wheel, digging deep into the American sound and channelling it through her Nordic roots to create a singular brand of Americana.
1. Take Me Home
2. Siren Song
3. California Snow
5. Paws Of A Bear
6. Pharaohs And Friends
7. Blood Moon
8. Wrapped In Paper
9. I Liked You Better
10. Die Alone
All songs written by Sofia Talvik.
Acoustic guitar, Piano and Vocals: Sofia Talvik.
Pedal steel, Dobro, Horns and Trumpet: Tim Fleming.
Electric and Acoustic guitar: Marcus Högquist.
Bass: Janne Manninen
Drums and Percussion: Joakim Lundgren.
Produced by Sofia Talvik.
Mixed and mastered by Hans Olsson Brookes, Svenska Grammofonstudion.
Released by Makaki Music
Sofia Talvik – Blood Moon [Official Video]