Eivør – “Bridges” (2015)

Label: Tutl Records

Review by Alessandra Cognetta

When I last spoke with Faroese singer-songwriter Eivør, she teased her new album would be “folktronica”. And it is, in the best way possible. Eivør’s career has spanned multiple genres throughout the years, with the only constant being her capability to grow, adapt and explore. The foundations for the style we find on “Bridges” were set with her previous release, “Room”, where acoustic and electronic elements were already combined with great results. But that’s the thing with Eivør, there’s always a surprise waiting around the corner.

“Bridges” kicks off with the soothing introduction of “Remember Me”, where a lulling refrain and great vocal accents add an interesting depth to the song. “Faithful Friend” follows, with a great beat and a skillfully crafted arrangement that help create a welcoming feeling, reflecting the lyrics. “Bridges” is permeated by the constant sense of longing for something distant, in time and space, and everything in the music sustains this particular atmosphere. The title track is probably one of the gems of the album. A melancholic acoustic guitar sets the stage for one of the most intriguing vocal lines of the release, the kind of vocals that are able to deliver the lyrics straight to the listener’s heart. Eivør displays her incredible range, reaching impossibly high notes with incredible grace – one of the distinguishing traits of her style. “Tides” offers a good glimpse of the orchestral element as well, with a nice string section to support the arrangement and the haunting vocals.

One of the most emotional moments of the album, “On My Way to Somewhere” is probably the emblem of Eivør’s musical purpose. Another amazing beat reminds us that Eivør writes her music with her voice, creating beats with her vocals and breadth and sampling it into music only in the following stages of production. This creates room for a very refreshing composition, in an album that is very much voice-driven. The acoustic ballad “Morning Song” gives us the chance to talk about Eivør’s interpretation and lyrics. “Bridges” are established through the words, simple and yet evocative, and Eivør is able to deliver them with an unprecedented amount of emotion, letting the listener connect with her feelings. “Purple Flowers”, another personal favourite, follows in the quiet atmosphere set by the combination of acoustic guitar and light string sections. Eivør does a great job at creating riffs with her voice, much like a guitarist would for a metal song, and “The Swing” is probably the most inspired instance of this particular element of her style, an enticing song that definitely catches the listener’s ear. The album is closed by “Stories”, which once again shows how easily Eivør manages to pull us into the song with just a few notes.

“Bridges” is a very, very solid release, the latest display of the Faroese singer’s talent and passion for music. It’s proof that there is still a place for innovation and experimentation, proof that an artist can take a risk and still deliver an album where every song feels like a classic right from the first notes. “Bridges” is a great example of how a very personal album can also be appealing to a wide audience and stands as a reminder for the whole music industry that only skill and passion – two qualities Eivør knows how to use very well – can make a great product.

Rating – 95/100

Tracklist

  1. Remember Me
  2. Faithful Friend
  3. Bridges
  4. Tides
  5. On My Way to Somewhere
  6. Morning Song
  7. Purple Flowers
  8. The Swing
  9. Stories

 

Line Up

  • Eivør Palsdóttír – Vocals/Guitars/Hand Drum
  • Høgni Lisberg – Drums/Percussions
  • Mikael Blak – Bass/Keyboards
  • Trondur Bogason – Keyboards/Stone Harp/Piano
  • Magnus Johannssen – Piano/Rhodes
  • Angelika Nielsen – Violin/Viola
  • Andreas Tykær Restoff – Cello

 

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