Tilde Hjelm’s You Are A Star – life, tragedy, love – EP Review

Tilde Hjelm indieberlin review

“Everything I’m writing is my heart’s own voice,” Swedish singer-songwriter Tilde Hjelm says of her debut EP, You Are a Star.

It’s clear right from the start of You Are a Star, that this is more than a throwaway epithet. Hjelm, hailing from Gothenburg, has hit on a formula both impressive and intriguing, even in this golden age of Swedish indie-folk.

“The music often writes itself in situations when my heart gets broken or the lack of something or someone becomes unbearable”, Hjelm continues. The three-track release, available on Spotify since 8th November, is Hjelm’s first output since singles ‘High & Low’ in 2017, and ‘Along The Way’ with the Desert Orchids earlier this year. The EP offers more lyrical introspection than the singles, but despite its somewhat sombre influences (“a great source of inspiration for me is Karen Dalton”), there is more nuance to the content than a pure examination of heartbreak.

Hjelm, hailing from Gothenburg, has hit on a formula both impressive and intriguing, even in this golden age of Swedish indie-folk

‘You Are a Star’ sets the scene with its soulful bassline intro, while the moodier ‘Wanted You to Feel The Same’ takes the tempo down a notch. The harmonies here show that Hjelm isn’t a million miles away from compatriots First Aid Kit or British sister act The Staves. The closing title track is more mournful, incorporating a saxophone motif alongside Hjelm’s guitar work that makes the emotion all the heavier.

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“The comedy of life, tragedy and the constant passion for love are three things that lie close to me when I am sitting with the guitar or organ at home in my bedroom,” Hjelm explains. Both the instrumentation and production are indeed faultless, creating an atmosphere of loss and longing that complements the lyrics to a tee.

Hjelm isn’t a million miles away from compatriots First Aid Kit or British sister act The Staves.

While the artist hasn’t toured too far out of her own country as of yet, this month Hjelm heads to Scotland to work on her first full length. Fingers crossed for a Berlin visit in the new year.

 

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