ICYMI presents Siv Jakobsen
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Siv Jakobsen sits in her Oslo apartment, waking early in the morning to the semi-light outside the window. The chill wraps around her as she settles to write, and write, and write. Come afternoon, as darkness encloses, she lights flickering candles and continues to write through to the evening. Safe and sound in her home.
Having toured extensively since her debut EP, The Lingering (2015), and debut LP, The Nordic Mellow (2017), Siv owed her tired body and mind a rest and time to settle at home in her native Norway where her catalogue of songs are firmly rooted. With willowy vocals that spin fragile folklore stories told under the reflective nostalgia of moonlight, and ice cool strings delicately picked with intricacy, her songs are like intimate embraces protecting from the cold with enough heart to rekindle a fire. Finding herself back in a familiar environment allowed Siv to reconnect and reflect on the last few years of releasing records and playing to audiences around the world.
Siv’s forthcoming record via Norweigan label, U OK?, A Temporary Soothing (2020), was recorded with producer Chris Bond, whose credits notably include Ben Howard’s first two albums. Due to heavy work commitments, the pair met in intense one and two week periods over the course of almost an entire year. This space between recording stints allowed Siv time to progress the album and build herself up to try bolder things. There was no rush to complete anything and no need to settle in order to do so. The sense of freedom and safety collectively created what could be seen as Siv 2.0., her growth and development captured on record.
“There is often a preconceived notion made about artists who write “sad songs”, that they must be sad people. I have made the same presumption about others in the arts and this idea of the “suffering artist” stuck more and more to my consciousness after several encounters where I felt I was met with amusement that I “seemed like a happy person” and how could that be when I wrote “such sad songs?”” Siv recalls as the catalyst for writing A Temporary Soothing. Confronted with this idea, and as a self-confessed worrier and over-thinker, she found herself consciously wondering about it and whether she had ever constructed sadness to allow herself to write emotionally and well.
“This album was conceived from this building fear that I wouldn’t be able to be both happy and a good writer at the same time. Ultimately, it developed into a broader look upon my relationship with fear and nerves” Siv explains. These anxieties pour into album opener, ‘Fear The Fear’, cinematic strings move like waves breaking on the shore and Siv outlays her feelings of disconnect, singing; “Shake It off, I can’t, I won’t. ‘Cause what would I write about if I don’t fear the fear inside my bones.”
Siv’s songs are immersive. Born in those candlelit rooms encircled by Norway’s expansive skies, there is a never-ending canvas for her to conjure up and recall memories. Using raw acoustics and emotively fuelled vocals to tell her beautiful stories, Siv travels with listeners as they explore her textured soundscapes.