Saturday, March 24, 2018

Ingvild Koksvik's Songs From the Deepest Sea

There's a flurry of activity in Farsund, Norway these days. Just a couple of weeks after I blogged about Lark Jakob Rudjord's Pharos,a new single featured on all the streaming services, singer Ingvild Koksvik has released a new digital EP featuring three of her songs from her last album, sung this time in English. Lars confirmed this for me in an email exchange a couple of weeks ago, but I accidentally stumbled onto Songs From the Deepest Sea while browsing through Tidal this morning and reminded myself to check it out.

Og sangen kom der havet, Ingvild's last album, is a beautiful and hypnotic experience. One of the biggest reasons I fell in love with it was hearing her sing these Norwegian lyrics with such emotion and conviction that I felt like I didn't need an English translation. As I mentioned in my review for Positive Feedback Online, Ingvild supplied translation in the liner notes of the album, but I avoided them because I loved the hint of mystery. And now we have the English versions...will that mystery vanish?

Of course not! It's thrilling to hear her English vocals because they ground her voice--for an English-speaking fan like me, anyway. When I listen to Ingvild in her native Norwegian, she sounds like a beautiful, fleeting spirit. Hearing her sing "Song From the Deepest Sea," "Something Better" and "Mathilda's Lullaby" in English radically changes the mood of the music--a layer of meaning is both added and subtracted. It's almost like I'm hearing her voice for the first time, as if she's in the room with me. This might be a completely personal impression for one reason--Ingvild and Lars occasionally send me messages, and their English is perfect. (This is true, of course, of most Scandinavians.) And there's a slight disconnect between these perfectly normal conversations and the gorgeous, exotic Nordic music they make. Maybe I'm just a little starstruck by these two.

Now, Ingvild has supplied a bridge for me. The mystery has lessened, but the meaning is now more in focus. The music is still just as beautiful, but now I understand even more. Above all, I feel like I know her voice a little more because of this.

Ingvild and Lars pretty much take turns when it comes to releasing my favorite albums of the year, so hopefully these smaller projects are hinting at full albums to come. But now that I've flung myself into digital streaming, it's a genuine treat to be able to hear the in-between projects, the creativity and the direction these two are taking.

You can hear Songs from the Deepest Sea on Tidal and right here.

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