Silje Nergaard – For You A Thousand Times

We’re usually going to Italy for a week or two each year, our favorite spots being somewhere in the Tuscanny or Liguria region where you have everything: beautiful landscape, amazing food and wines, wonderful people and the beach close by. At the beach, you always have people walking around selling stuff like clothes or food and there is always someone singing chant-like and praising his fresh coconut: “coco bello, coco coco bello”. It’s so funny that Silje has turned this into a song on her new album – she recorded one of the guys on her iphone and cut a wonderful piece here called “Cocco Bello”. Brings back holiday memories.

This is your perfect pop record with all the right ingredients. Silje has never sounded better (didn’t I say this about her last record as well? there you go even though there are some soft spots here and there) and she has come up with a pretty diversified, varied collection of songs opening it up with the Africa-inspired “It’s Gonna Rain” featuring the voice of Nyota Ndogo, a singer from Mombasa. The constant percussive flow of “Run Run Run” is one of those tunes that are able to hypnotize you with its repetitive chant and irresistible groove. Matthias Eick‘s trumpet puts a special stamp on the tune like he does on the afore-mentioned “Cocco Bello” where he echoes the line of the song.

The title track is a beautiful ballad as is “Hush Little Bird” which features the ngoni, a string instrument from Mali. Silje’s crystal-clear voice is perfect for getting the story about a little boy lost across which gets pretty dramatic towards the end with the overdubbed vocals and voices. There’s a warm keyboard cushion underscoring “Jaded Childhood Dreams” about a dysfunctional relationship and its possible mending. It even has some nice country flavors. Towards the end, the mood gets melancholic and gloomy even on “Winter Moon”, another sweet little ditty.

In between, there are haunting pieces like “Breathe” with its charming hook, a lame “Amy” and my favorite cut on the album: “Sleepwalking” is a soulful ballad with very effective backing vocal work and specially harmonized guitar courtesy of Audun Erlien. The song reminds me of some of the best ballad work of the 70s West Coast bands. The vocal arrangement on this one is very cool.

Silje is on a short German tour presenting her new album before she’s off to Japan:

11/04 Munich – Unterfahrt

11/05 Karlsruhe – Tollhaus

11/06 Bonn – Harmonie

11/07 Berlin – A-Trane

11/08 Dresden – Jazz Festival



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