After a moving to an increasingly larger production scope on her last two projects, Swedish songwriter Sofia Talvik says she went "back to basics" on her overtly pretty but modest and unpretentious fifth album The Owls Are Not What They Seem, self-released digitally in the U.S. this week. Recorded mostly at her home, Talvik's gentle acoustic songs make up for any loss of sonic power and rhythmic force with a focus on the sweetly nuanced basics: endearing melodies, tasteful arrangements around what Talvik describes as a "live, organic feel" and her own lovely, untrained voice. While songs like "Glow" and "If I Had A Man" flutter by on gauzy gossamer wings, Talvik explores a darker emotional underside on "The Garden", a song imbued with minor chord tension and lyrical edge of "good and evil". "I had no interest in changing the world or inventing something new," reflects Talvik. "I just wanted to make a beautiful acoustic album." Done.
Sofia Talvik - "Nothing Quite So Gentle" (from The Owls Are Not What They Seem)
Sofia Talvik - "The Garden" (from The Owls Are Not Quite What They Seem)