It was so long ago that I last wrote about Elina – two and a half years – that I had to trawl through files I thought were long deleted to locate her. Fortunately not.
The song under review then was ‘Love come around’, together with an excellent video, and she was immediately identified as a top-rate songwriter for others including the likes of Zara Larsson and Maroon 5, a sort of Scandinavian Sia with an Ivor Novello Award nomination under her belt already, and with a style of her own of seriously cultured Americana.
It was her first solo release on her own label, and the song, about “the people who get up in the morning and fight on despite life’s injustices and challenges we face” was quite fabulous.
As was the video. I described that thus: “I had to watch it three or four times to take it all in. It says more in three minutes than most of the pap coming out of Hollywood does in three hours”.
Since then I hadn’t heard a word about her. But she hadn’t disappeared, she was just writing and a couple of new tracks have been released before this one.
Even so I was hesitant to discover whether the image I’d created in my mind could be sustained.
No problem there.
You know, so many songs have been made by a sophisticated piano introduction. Think across genres of Genesis’ ‘Firth of Fifth’, N-Trance’s ‘Set you free’ (the original 1992 White Label version) and Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘Bridge over Troubled Water’ for example – each of them with a piano intro to die for.
Can the short intro to ‘Apologise’ be added to that list? It sure can. It sets the theme for the song every bit as much as the opening bars of the ‘Cheers’ theme song does and tells you unequivocally to expect something warm and fuzzy even if the blunt message coming out of it is “I’ll do it my way from now on.”
(Incidentally the text running through the video is that of a personal letter deliberately written to accompany it. The video is from Hampus Hjellström, who made the one for ‘Love come around’).
Along with artists like Sarah Klang and Ellen Krauss, Elina (Stridh) is re-writing the Americana songbook in Sweden and quite probably in the US too. Is there anything coming out of Nashville or Austin right now that is any more heart-tugging than this?
I’m tempted to compare her with early Taylor Swift but I don’t want the Swifties sticking pins in the groin of a Voodoo Doll of me!
She has recently been in the UK, playing in London, and will return in October, again to London. I hope if she reads this that she might spread her wings a little further throughout this green and pleasant land this time.
Find her on: