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Maliika (Sweden) – Daydreaming (single)

Maliika (Linda Ulfsdotter) has twice before passed through the portals of NMC and I’m happy to see her back again. I’ve remarked previously that “Writing a song is like painting in Maliika’s universe, the words and music replicating the flow of oil or water paints onto the canvas”.

Before I go any further I wonder if Beyoncé took her cue from Maliika when she inserted double ‘i’s in all her songs that have a single ‘i’ in them on her ‘Cowboy Carter’ album? Maliika’s reach and influence might go further than she thought.

I’ve also remarked before now how easily she can create atmosphere and marveled at the purity of her voice, pondering if she might have had operatic training somewhere along the line. It might just be all the ice cream I assume she eats; she has a parlour at the Swedish seaside. How cool is that?

Since her last outing she’s started a new collaboration with AMG Scandinavia, an entrée to the wonderful world of music syncing as well as renewing her agreement with the music company COMEDIA.

So you might hear her soon on a TV programme or on a movie. Before then comes a ‘mini-album’, ‘Voice of Maliika’.

And before that comes this new single, ‘Daydreaming’ which is, she says, “a reflection on the greatness and beauty of our vast universe. Our earthly life is over in a moment, but we are forever part of the constant movement of the beautiful cosmic artwork.” Yep, we become atomic dust and get recycled but she puts it far more nicely, don’t you think?

In the past either I or others have mentioned her in the same breath as the likes of Enya, Kate Bush, Sarah Brightman and Karen Carpenter, but even I was taken aback by a comment made by her label manager and publicist that he “hears references to Loreen in Maliika’s music.”

But you know what? He’s spot on with that assessment. However, as the song begins I am reminded more of the Finnish singer-songwriter Stina Koistinen, aka Stinako and in particular her haunting song ‘Singing’ from her EP with Astrid Swan a few years ago. I didn’t think anyone else could do ‘haunting’ to that standard but Maliika, in full orchestral mode rises effortlessly to the challenge.

The Loreen ‘bit’ so to speak arrives around two thirds of the way through when the pace slows abruptly, heavy strings take charge and an astonishing vocal emerges. Just listen to the way she sings “Powerful” and then, a few seconds later, “fragile”. Not just for the contrast; they are practically onomatopoeic.

And then there’s that high-pitched scream at the end which is simply off the register and which I’m certain owes absolutely nothing to autotune.

No artist or band appears in NMC unless they are highly competent at what they do but if I had to single out the voice in Sweden right now I would have to plump for Maliika.

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