Swedish alt-folk artist Linn Öberg has managed to get her career off to a promising start, garnering critical acclaim for the singles “Vacant Days” and “The Carrier”. Both tracks have received airplay on national radio in her homeland and are taken from her enthralling debut album, When You Go. The Stockholm based singer/songwriter describes the newly released record as being “very personal and marked by [her] experiences.”
It begins with title track, “When You Go”. This epic opener announces itself through a synth build up that creates a great sense of anticipation as it leads into operatic vocals. “Rough Hewn” grows quietly out of its aftermath amid sporadic piano keys and electronics. A sharp, piercing harmony develops over the instrumentation as it progresses and increases in scale.
An acoustic riff gets “The Carrier” off to a mellow start aside striking vocals. It gradually becomes more animated, giving rise to a rousing ambience. “Bergen (In Your Honor)” follows in its wake atop stirring guitar and synth work. An engrossing melody joins the busy instrumentation in lending an uplifting vibe to the piece.
“Freediver” exhibits an impressive vocal range throughout, kicking off with relaxing guitars that become more urgent as they unfold. Things quieten back down to introduce “From the Wanting”. A penetrating harmony resonates over a hushed riff before the music erupts affectingly about halfway through.
The swift acoustic rhythm that races behind the expressive vocals of “Vacant Days” forges a gripping tune that lingers in the mind afterwards. This is followed by the amazingly moving “A Noble Shortcoming”. Sparsely executed guitars aid its ethereal melody in creating a sombre yet comforting atmosphere.
“Wavering Light” is a mesmerising addition, born of an organ-like effect that sails slowly into resounding vocals. “My Life’s Rhyme” arrives next, bringing celestial synths and a gentle harmony ahead of a very theatrical electronic build up. It acts as a psychedelic and soulful finale.
Linn Öberg has put together an exquisite alternative folk compilation, whose sound is simultaneously delicate and dramatic. The warm, spiritual nature of the material makes for a hypnotic listening experience. When You Go is available for download on iTunes now.