CD Review: Hansan – Nattflykt

It’s always interesting to see what past experiences have brought an artist to the certain point when an album is released.

Sofia Karolina Talvik is a singer-songwriter from Gothenburg whose first album ‘Blue Moon’ was released in 2005. Her nordic folk style is delicate and rustic, her crystal clear voice melancholic and ethereal. 

A year later, with her husband Jonas Westin, she founded the Makaki Music label. ‘Paws of a Bear’, was her eighth studio album, inspired by a trip to the States which saw her cross Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. In early 2020, she joined forces with the classically trained German cellist David Floer to form the duo Hansan (a Swedish word for the Swedish-German hanseatic trade union), and this album was released in May. Sung in Swedish, the cello and her immaculate voice are the only elements used.   

The three singles, ‘Du Du Du’, ‘Sommarland’ and ‘Sjung min lilla näktergal’, open the album and set out the alien, enigmatic and enchanting musical world. Sofia’s pure and intriguing voice accompanied by the cellist create an almost monastic, sparse tone at times, or otherworldly soundscapes, spring-like folk tones or alt-jazz. In other words they are very inventive and creative musicians, able to conjure a variety of moods with the slightest of musical instrumentation.

I confess my Swedish is non-existent, but ‘Nattflykt’ is a fascinating experience. An intriguing and vulnerable album, it has an initial fragility and yet a strong depth to it. If this is Swedish melancholy, it embraces a folk and mythical history that is universal. 

Tracklist:

From From From 03.23

Sommarland 03.44

Sjung min lilla näktergal 03.32

Nattflykt 03.55

Livret hårda visa 03.07

Andas 02.54

Brudvisa 01.45

Farväl vid havet 03.03

Fjärilsvärld 02.27

Där för dig 03.15

Hej from 01.15

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