Eivor starts her new album with the sentence ‘In My Green Garden…”, which is the opening sentence of the song “Green Garden”. When you have only just visited the country where Eivor was born and bred, you cannot suppress the memories of the green landscape made up of enormous moss covered mountains and valleys veiled with moss and grass. The extraordinary moonlike green landscape is forever burned on your retina. It was during this motor tour that I discovered Eivor’s music. Right on the first day on the Faeroer islands I bought one of Eivor’s older albums in one of the stores that sell local products in the small towns and hamlets.
At dinner in our hotel we were given an iPad as the menu and after the choice for dinner was made, the iPad proved to have internet access, so I could listen to what I had just bought. My table guests and the restaurant staff could not help but notice that I was listening to Eivor. Our waitress exclaimed with a broad grin and full of surprise: ‘You are listening to Eivor!’ ‘Yes’, I said, ‘I think it is beautiful and I really have to find her latest album.’ She was very helpful and found me the address of the record shop, which was also the record label holder. Tutl is the inhouse label of the islands and publisher of the album ‘Room’.
‘Room’ is the ninth expression of Eivor’s talent; she started singing at the age of fourteen. She had her debut when she was seventeen with an album filled with songs in her mother language. Nowadays she is famous on the Faeroer Islands and Iceland and trying to get a foothold in Norway.
The star that is Eivor, for you can surely call her that in those two small countries, has been shining for many years. It is about time that more people will hear of her. With her latest album ‘Room’ she has delivered one with every song in the English language. On other albums we can hear her in English, Faeroer, Norwegian, as well as in Swedish. Also Eivor is active in multiple genres, among which are folk, alternative pop, jazz and even classical music. Her vocal range is exceptionally large.
Comparing her with other artists is of course very dangerous, because it does not do her full justice. But Eivor’s very own style contains elements that may occasionally remind you of Kate Bush, Tori Amos and Birdy. None of these comparisons are completely accurate, and luckily so.
‘Green Garden’ is about the sprouting spring and the dawn of a cheerful period after a gloomy, downcast shower. The anticipation for that change really splashes from that song. The next track ‘Rain’ narrates the rain and the rise of the rivers that are plentiful on the Faeroer Islands. It also tells about the reflection from one or the other in the surface of the water. ‘Rain’ harbours a thrilling potential for a hit song and has influences from faraway places, like India.
‘True Love’ is based on a poem by Marilyn Bowering, put to music by Eivor and it tells a story of death, love, pain and the tension between those in life. Towards the end the song is of a repetitive nature with a tension, that we know from Philip Glass. With ‘Boxes’ we are thown back into the reality of life. Cleaning up your house and cleaning up your life. One could swear that Phil Collins is playing the drums.
Eivor creates songs with a message. Sometimes even two messages or a deeper inner meaning. It is wrapped in very crisp music, played on the piano, guitar, electronics, drums / percussion, chimes, harp, banjo, organ, bass and whatever else you can think of. Strings are used sporadically and very tastefully.
Eivor’s voice glistens and sparkles above all the accompaniment and covers many octaves in a very pure clarity.
‘Room’ does not have a single weak moment in any of the ten compositions. Sometimes the songs are fleet-footed, like ‘Far Away’, while the preceding ‘Wake Me Up’ started out much heavier. During ‘I Know’ you might be seized by the declaration of love and embraced by the warmth of love. When, after the title song ‘Room’ and ‘Falling Free’ a longer silence sets in, you cannot help but hit the play button again to pass through the journey once more. You cannot get bored when you let yourself be carried away by the music of this genius from a special island group in the Atlantic.
Let us hope she will one day cross the distance to the Netherlands to let us become acquainted with her beautiful music in a life setting. There is so much to discover in her rich oeuvre.
(Translation by Jacqueline Dalinghaus)