There are a lot of excellent women writing and recording songs around Brighton at the moment and Elin Ivarsson has joined the top rank with her self-titled debut album, released last month on local Hidden Trail Records.
Opening song ‘Leaving song’ is a beguiling pop-folk ditty, wherein the singer proclaims she’d rather be alone than be with the person she’s leaving. It’s arrangement is light and joyful, and typifies Elin’s Swedish-born sound.
Thereafter the ten songs on her album pick up a delightful range of soulful, folk-influenced tunes. Elin has a warm deep tone, sometimes sounding like she’s telling fairy-tales, like in the charming dancing ‘Luka’, other times sparse and moving. There are some beautiful arrangements to the songs, with gorgeous strings from the likes of Willkommen’s Will Calderbank, which make a song like ‘Lotty’ delightful.
Other favourites include the excellent ‘Sunday 5am’ with it’s keen observations on bedsit living and references to The Well-Tempered Clavier and Edgar Allen Poe. Or ‘Laurels’, a bouncy joyful meditation on living and loving, with some gorgeous violin from Andrew Stuart-Buttle. Or ‘Another day will come’, a yearning moving discourse between movement and stillness, of freedom and entrapment. However, it’s hard to pick a favourite as the full set is uniformly excellent.
All in all a very find debut and well worth your time.
Listen to ‘Leaving Song’ below, recorded for Stripped Back Bare sessions. You can hear the full album and purchase it from the Bandcamp website https://hiddentrailrecords.bandcamp.com/album/elin-ivarsson