Solveig Slettahjell

COMPOSERS: Solveig Slettahjell
LABELS: ACT
ALBUM TITLE: Domestic Songs
PERFORMER: Solveig Slettahjell (voice, piano), Sjur Miljeteig (trumpet), Peder Kjellsby (harmonium, guitar), Jo Berger (bass), Per Oddvar Johansen (drums)
CATALOGUE NO: ACT 9017-2
After the success of her previous Act albums, Good Rain and Pixiedust , Norwegian singer Solveig Slettahjell probably needed some quality time at home. Recording Domestic Songs at home, on her own piano, allowed her to regain her slo-mo composure. Her other records were hardly cluttered but this one, mostly made up of lullaby-style originals, is stripped bare. And the sparseness of the arrangements makes it all the better for savouring Slettahjell’s wintry vocal styling.

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Even when the band cosy up close, such as in radio friendly pieces like Lennon/McCartney’s ‘Because’, Slettahjell’s semi-spoken narrative is etched as if by a finger drawn slowly across frosted glass. At a time when there are lots of singers to choose from, doing songbook standards, it’s refreshing to hear a genuine one-off, doing her own thing. It brings a new dimension to the phrase ‘chilled out’.

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Garry Booth