COMPOSERS: Solveig Slettahjell
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.
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’.