In the dark times, will there also be
singing?
Yes, there will be singing.
About the dark times.

- Bertolt Brecht, 'Motto'

Norwegian native Siv Jakobsen is a woman of courageous passion. With over ten million streams on her 2015 EP The Lingering, the musician's fraught but gracious folk soul has carried her through in the musical world she has inhabited. In a world of dazzling mediums, exquisite beauty and fluid fragility.

Her words are rallying, but elegantly so. Her debut album, The Nordic Mellow, opens with 'To Leave You', a beautiful exploration, exposing the frailties of the guarded heart. Jakobsen's delicate vocals are hushed but uttered with naked conviction amongst strings pigmented with tenderness and purity. "I must build myself a new house with a fence and alarms/ round the edge so you won't come," she sings, and it's this conjuring of contrasting exposure and separation which harbours a fever, colouring and emblazoning the entirety of the ten tracks.

'Change', on a similar frequency cradles the aches and impossibilities of expectation and submission. Jakobsen's capacity to express so inwardly and boldly is rife on this short track, and it's one of the most powerful offerings the LP has. Meanwhile, 'Shallow Digger' is the record's most 'folky' offering, and is brooding in rhythmic opening and sonic precision. 'Blanket', is again gorgeously drenched in melancholy, with strings spun like soft wool as the vacuum left by intimacy is centred. Throughout, the sonics are cinematic, redemptive and gentle; Jakobsen's vulnerability is so present in her longings it is true that this whole piece of work is wisely brave.

Jakobsen is not afraid of drowning in stirring emotions and burning sensations; the depth that these desires run is a focal feature here. Instead she bathes in them, looks them straight ahead with scalded fingers, yet still she extracts every scrap of rawness out of them to relay beautifully in her craft. 'Like I Used' to has the same undiminished intensity the whole of The Nordic Mellow swells with. Cutting to the heart of everything we as humans crave and cotton ourselves around; her refrain "I love you too much" is confessional and woozy.

The orchestral accompaniment throughout is composed so perfectly; like the flow of tides, it moves through us and illuminates an X-ray of broken chests, but also that redemption and healing that will prevail from this.

What the truly great artists do is communicate the unspeakable. It would be impossible to review music like this without the mention of Joni Mitchell; a deeply impassioned artist in every sense of the word. A woman, who is powerful and has a wonderful capacity to love and bleed; defiantly, fiercely and in solitude. It is this maddening hunger and courage to be so passionate that is also found here, and which makes The Nordic Mellow both beautiful and necessary. It is true that isolation can prove fatal for the human heart, but for a woman so talented in her artistic skin, her capacity to ache and share it with us so ferociously is what makes the record so perpetually wild and arresting. Jakobsen does not resist feeling; and there is both freedom and beauty in that. This here is the proof.