Felisia Westberg is a new name to me but is an artist who is well known in Sweden as a highly prominent bass player as you will gather very soon after the sample track here starts. The bass is but one of her many talents, she is presently playing keyboards and singing backing vocals for Ane Brun, both in the studio and on tour.
Her debut album consists of music she has composed over the last eight years.
The nine-track Himlavandrare translates as ‘Skywalker’ and the album is a real mixed bag, varying between the heavy, mournful strings of ‘Gröna Dalen’ (‘Green Valley’) to the flightier ‘Alt är nu’ (‘Everything is now’) to the up tempo, almost Latin American vibes of Förvandlingen’ – and we’re only three tracks in – while the title track has more of a rock feel to it.
Then ‘Kolsvarter Gardiner’ (‘Charcoal Black Curtains’) takes you on an acoustic lullaby, punctuated by imaginative clarinet that seems to belong in another song entirely and with lyrics that might be a contribution from Charles Darwin.
There is plenty of instrumentation present. I’m not sure how many of these instruments Felisia is playing on her own account (and there is a fair amount of orchestration) but previous experience with albums from multi-instrumentalists tells me that it might be many of them. And that bass is discernible in many of the tracks, being employed on occasion more as a lead instrument than a rhythm one.
The album requires deeper study than World Cup Quarter Finals permit me to bestow on it. I selected ‘Hymn’ as the sample track simply because it was the one which caught my attention even more than the others. It’s a sumptuous piece, seven minutes long and replete with a melange of stringed instrumentation, built around a beguiling vocal.
It may not be particularly religious but the ending, which features a wandering synthesiser melody, very much in the Weyes Blood style (think ‘Movies’) is a heavenly transport of delight.
Felisia’s band comprises Ebba Rubensson, Simon Balvig and William Reis, amongst others.
Find her on: