Thursday 18 July 2013

Review: Lovisa Ståhl - #2

Lovisa Ståhl - #2 (Versatility Records)
Born to a musical mother, Swedish singer-songwriter Lovisa Ståhl came into this world with melody in her genes, and she began to learn guitar when just ten years old. Travel provided her other great passion, and some years living abroad in Norway, Iceland, France and Mexico has done much to broaden her musical palette and have made accessible various genres, styles and sounds.

On “#2” (her second album – you wont be surprised to learn) she brings many of those musical experiences to bear with a collection that’s difficult to pin down, and nigh on impossible to pigeonhole. Very much aimed at a grown-up audience, Ståhl’s themes, from love and loss to strength through adversity and full-blown story-songs are delivered with adult emotions and perspectives, and gel perfectly with their arrangements and settings, whether jazz, folk or Latin flecked.

The latter is employed on opening cut “This Day”; a Brazilian inspired rhythm is over-locked with mournful gypsy-esque strings, which in turn, contrasts perfectly with Ståhl’s buoyant vocal. “Shining Star” is the first single to be taken from the album, and its appeal is instant; a great hook is augmented by soulful delivery, clever lyricism and a dancefloor-friendly swing.

Perhaps the best of an impressive bunch is “Sabina”, a delicate folk-rock song with enough drama and purpose to draw comparison to Kate Bush and Tori Amos. Its tale of a death and its repercussions suggests tragic narrative is just one of Ståhl’s many talents.
Tony S.

Lovisa Ståhl – Thousand Miles (from the album “#1”)

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