Nowadays, it’s not difficult to make something that passes for a love song. But to create something that people actually connect with, and some feel sums up their feelings for somebody, now that still takes talent. Scandinavian singer and pianist Marie Dahlstrom has won the hearts of many around the world thanks to her skill at crafting patient, sincere-sounding love songs.
Her latest EP, 0.0, is a sublime four-track dinner date that combines words and 90s-inspired R&B to bring a fresh side to Dahlstrom’s repertoire.
Dahlstrom’s clarity couldn’t be any sharper if it were cut with diamonds. She has a voice that compels you to trust in her from the first note. That’s something which comes across in spades on her 2013 EP/mini-album, Gloom. That album itself is a tactful collection of love songs, largely piano- and vocal-led, with instrumentals akin to Des’ree or Gabrielle. It’s “easy listening” to some, the kind of thing you might hear playing on Magic or Smooth FM.
Thematically, Dahlstrom sticks with the awkwardness of everyday love on 0.0 – wandering if her would-be lover will whisk her away (‘Home Tonight’) and imaging him with all her mind (‘One More Reason’) – but this time the rhythms are funkier and more colourful. Producers Tom Misch, Aston Rudi, Pelle Blarke and Marcus D set the mood with tight, jazzy beds befitting of Jessie Ware or Rae Morris.
Yet, as lone instrumentals, these tracks would be like jewellery without a gemstone: shiny, but lacking real sparkle. It is Dahlstrom who adds that special ingredient. Succinct sweet somethings that lead you from lakeside to twilight hideaway to solitary longing. Dahlstrom’s deep respect for her craft makes it easier to fall in love with her music with every release.
0.0 EP is out now, self-released by Marie Dahlstrom.
Have you listened to this album? If so, what did you think of it? Tweet me @aarnlee.
Image: Marie Dahlstrom/PR