Angelic permanent comfort whilst slowly breaking your heart
Norwegian singer/songwriter Siv Jakobsen returns with a beautifully penned new album at a crucial time. ‘A Temporary Soothing’ is a mixture of melancholia and green shoots of hope wrapped up in a delicate folk setting. It also borrows heavily from cinematic soundtrack tropes to really hammer its feelings home.
Moving on from her largely acoustic focused debut ‘The Lingering’, Siv Jakobsen has expanded her sound palette to create more of a band feel. This, when added to her effortlessly warming vocals and gentle symphonic arrangements that hide under the guitar or piano, is pure gold. ‘Fight or Flight’ for example is Nordic Folk perfection. It is light, airy and icy in part whilst feeling homely. ‘Shine’ and single ‘Island’ are other excellent examples of this acoustic folk-rock vibe. They all have the potential to be huge hits.
Elsewhere Siv channels her voice and the pulse of the music into more folktronica settings. Opener ‘Fear the Fear’ is dark and brooding. Each string and synth creating a haunting nightmare to crawl through. On the flipside ‘From Morning Made to Evening Laid’ explodes into a celebratory rapture for its finale. It feels joyous and full of life.
Then there are the songs that feel hopeful and wistful simultaneously. ‘Anywhere Else’ uses violin and lilting oohs to tug at your heartstrings. At the same time, I want to sing proudly alongside Siv as she pushes forward. ‘Only Life’ shares a similar vibe whilst closer ‘I Call it Love’ seems to wrap up the rollercoaster we’ve been on with an affirmation and closing of the book with confidence and finality.
Between all these folk classics in waiting are some shorter classical pieces. The title track straddles Norse and Celtic sounds with its lamenting strings beautifully whilst ‘Mothecombe’ is a soothing drone. The album often rides a wave of darkness, light, hope then fade in a circle of songs and these pieces are more than pretty transitions. They form part of the fundamental emotions that Siv Jakobsen is trying to explain to us. Pleasure is temporary, but so is pain. It is all part of the cycle of life.
‘A Temporary Soothing’ is an album I’ll be recommending to be a permanent part of your cycles in life. Gem after gem appear and whilst I enjoyed Siv’s debut album, this is simply a class above. It is the very top tier of folk drenched music and this should be featuring on many peoples albums of the year lists come December.
Recommended track: Island
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