By Stevie Connor.
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.
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.
Delving into folk melancholy -akin to fellow Swedes First Aid Kit-, and bluegrassy elements of Molly Tuttle, ‘Center of the Universe’ delivers Talvik’s own neatly packaged stories across its 10 stunning tracks. Dreamy accordion intertwines with bright mandolin, acoustic guitars and bass, creating an ideal foundation for the stark beauty of Talvik’s singular vocal work. As the album unfolds, she lures you into her world with stunning heft and grit, once again proving a master of her craft.
To usher in 2024 with a bang, Sofia is delighted to present a special treat for her fans and supporters — a captivating mini-documentary delving into the making of "Center of the Universe." Recorded in a quaint early 19th-century farm nestled in the serene Swedish countryside, the documentary offers an intimate behind-the-scenes look at the studio sessions and Sofia's personal insights into the production process, complete with intriguing backstories for some of the album's standout tracks.
Sofia shares her perspective on the creative journey, stating, "I was so lucky to be able to fulfill my vision when making Center of the Universe. I really wanted the process to be as organic and natural as possible, far away from distractions, allowing the songs to come to life through the collective sound and heartbeat of all musicians in one room at the same time."
Talvik has released 9 full length albums and countless singles and eps. She has performed at festivals ranging from Lollapalooza to SXSW. She has opened for Maria McKee and 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. She has also released 2 albums in Swedish as part of the New Acoustic duo Hansan with German cellist David Floer.
Primarily a live artist, Talvik has taken her music across Europe and through 48 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 channeling it through her Nordic roots to create a singular brand of Americana. Talvik releases all of her music on Makaki Music, a record label she started early in her career to maintain full control over her own recordings. While her Swedish roots serve as the basis for her songwriting, she often calls upon her many journeys and experiences for inspiration, especially the uniquely American archetype of roaming the endless highway.
Photo Credit: Jonas Westin.
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