Ellen Sundberg is a 21-year-old Swedish singer/songwriter. Since the release of her debut album “Black Raven” towards the end of 2013 she has kept busy, touring all over the world with acts such Israel Nash and Doug Seegers. “White Smoke & Pines” is the title of her new album, recorded on Israel Nash’s ranch in Austin, Texas. “Vägen är Lång (The Road Is Long)” is the second single from the album.
The song has a strong country sound. It starts off with a lap steel guitar backed by a catchy acoustic guitar motif, drums and simple but steady bassline. Sundberg sings with a certain twang that is reminiscent of fellow Swedes First Aid Kit. Interestingly, the first four verses are sung in English, whereas the last one is in Swedish. It’s great to hear an artist singing in their native tongue, even if its only for a small portion of the track. Lyrically, Sundberg sings about feeling left behind while her friends have moved away to bigger cities. This is something that hits close to home for many Irish people, making it easy to empathise. It’s an interesting theme, especially as it’s one that’s rarely explored in music.
Overall, Sundberg’s latest single is definitely worth a listen for fans of country music or Swedish duo First Aid Kit. While it may not have the most complex arrangement, “Vägen är Lång (The Road Is Long)” is a hooky tune with heartfelt lyrics. “White Smoke & Pines was released on April 28th.