Fresh from a powerful performance at 2008’s Lollapalooza festival, Sweden’s Sofia Talvik is now poised to conquer the States with the release of her devastatingly beautiful third album. It’s a record of staggering elegance, with the faintest trace of Scandinavian twee and youthful exuberance. (Timpani, crisp castanets, tambourine, all the toys and tricks to put some bounce in your step.) But those forces are tempered by a subtle melancholy that slowly drips down the lonely walls while you listen until, by the last song, you’re drowning in a warm, welcome bath of sad sounds, syrupy string sections, and round, resonant horns. She combines modal chord changes and beautiful 60’s euro-pop production with the gentle singing of a 70’s folk songstress. Her voice shines through the dark tones of dramatic, lush orchestrations and the haze of reverb like a ray of liquid luminescence. “Jonestown” will remind you of Goldfrapp, Pulp, Nico, Joni Mitchell, Nick Drake, Belle & Sebastian, Aimee Mann, Tori Amos, Burt Bacharach (I could go on and on!), and yet it sounds entirely original and, more importantly, rings true.
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