Friday, August 3, 2012

26 Jul 12


what defines you as an artist is that you never give up

Hej, blogspot readers, it's an extra special On The Town adventure and this time, it takes place inside a museum! Tonight, SouthSide's rockin' the heart of historic Andersonville to meet and review singer/songwriter Sofia Talvik and her performance at the Swedish American Museum. Founded in 1976, this lovely place is "...dedicated to perserving [the] Swedish heritage and educating all generations and ehtnic groups in Swedish language, art, culture and traditions..." The 24,000-square foot building (located across the street from its original hardware store location) is home to three exhibit areas, a library, classrooms, offices and a gift shop as well as a gallery featuring contemporary Swedish art. The main attraction of this museum is the re-telling of the story of Swedish immigration to Chicago told in two different points of view - one for children and the other for adults. SouthSide's planning to visit again with her family especially during the holiday season for Lucia, Sweden's winter festival of lights and other Christmastime events. For more information about the Swedish American Museum, the hours of operation, admission and more, visit

Currently on tour for the next two years, this reviewer highly suggests checking out the heartfelt poetic floetry within the docile-like expressive vocals amidst pop/folk music by Sofia Talvik. This Swedish singer/songwriter delightfully entertained her audience under an atmosphere of warmth and friendship while sharing funny tidbits of life on the road (traveling with her husband) or her childhood and a wonderful selection of songs that included some off her current album - The Owls Are Not What They Seem. While tuning her guitar, Sofia regaled the attentive listeners about purchasing and then decorating a RV (that was parked at the Walgreens down the street) with items at Ikea to what inspired her to write about her songs Flo-rida and Jonestown. SouthSide liked the one story of how she promised to perform the rest of her set in the nude if the bar patrons would sit quietly through one song without talking. Needless to say, blogspot readers, Sofia has yet to make good on that promise though she did say it was okay for the audience to get naked if they wanted to. That and other slices of her life brought the connection between artist and audience a little closer each time before performing a song that seemed to coincide with the central lyrical theme or subject.


What impressed this reviewer the most was the beautiful and rich acoustic sound of Sofia's unique take on the folk genre which featured a bit of urban pop under a contemporary vibe thus leaving this reviewer the difficult task of what to spotlight in this review. After opening with the gentitle atmosphere of an acoustic downtempo rhythm found in King of the Willow Trees, Sofia's performance contained a selection of songs from her previous albums Flo-rida (title track full of image-laden lyrics under a lively pop tempo and feel) and Jonestown (another title track based on actual events to which this songwriter still gets chils whenever she performs this particular song) as well as a Glenn Campbell cover - Witchita Lineman (loved Sofia's vocal style on this 70s contemporary ballad that's somewhat told from a female prospective, blogspot readers) after revealing she's a fan of this American singer/songwriter. She even caught his "Goodbye" tour performance at a rodeo which according to her was amazing and appalling at the same time - the rodeo that is. Yet if SouthSide had to truly choose which Sofia Talvik moment as her favorite, she would suggest the following highlights but in no particular order.

Delusional (off Sofia's current album) - for the way the arrangement spotlighted this artist's vocal tone amidst acoustic tempo that also featured a steady percussion sound to counteract but not overshadow her docile voice. Plus the sad tone does tug on the heartstrings especially when she sings some of the lyrics in Swedish; Ghosts - the song that started it all, blogspot readers. SouthSide enjoyed the lively tune amidst an upbeat rhythmic tempo especially for a ballad about a relationship torn apart by an old flame who refuses to move on; Turn Me Over - for the vibrant acoustic sound which nicely highlighted the dynamic side to this songwriter's vocal style. Sofia popped the lyrics to life whenever she became more emotional and expressive bringing a vividly clear image to this reviewer's heard while admiring the Swedish artwork around the walls; At The End - a wonderful yet heartbreaking song about the trials of touring and a relationship that ends badly because of it. One could clearly hear the sadness and heartache wrapped inside the downtempo rhythm and acoustic song highlighting Sofia's voice especially at the end when she gets soulfully dynamic; The Garden (off the current album) - this reviewer enjoyed this particular song for its dark, haunting tone that came with chills down the spine (even off the acoustic riffs) though it's filled with such lovely romanticism, blogspot readers; Something Good - Sofia's heartfelt, feel good song of the night. SouthSide highly suggests listening to this lively song when you're having a tough day and nothing seems to be going right ...try this song for some inspiration; and lastly but certainly not least, the Swedish folk song, blogspot readers, which was also the highlight of the night. Sofia totally shined as an artist while beautifully expressing the Swedish language and poetic floetry to the audience. And even though not knowing what was being sung, SouthSide observed the many mixed reactions to this particular tune - of teary eyes to proud beaming smiles on faces all around her while hearing the lovely spoken words.

There's plenty of time, blogspot readers, to catch this singer/songwriter at her next live performance. She plans on visiting the both sides of the US coasts as well as many cities and towns in between. For more information about Sofia Talvik and where the RV heads next, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

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