Nordic Music Central Viking Hero

Soffía (Iceland) – Á Áfangasta (single)

You might remember Soffía from previously. She was Soffía Björg (and technically still is I suppose), but got a makeover somewhere on the road to Reykjavik. Actually I quite like it although it would seem a little strange if Kendrick Lamar started calling himself Kendrick, or Fiona Apple merely Fiona. And if there’s a ‘Karen something’ out there don’t even think about it. You wouldn’t want to be merely a Karen, now would you?

Soffía, who released her second album, ‘The Company you keep’ in October 2021, (NMC rating 9/10) usually writes and performs in English but reverts here to her native Icelandic for the song ‘Á Áfangasta’, which translates as ‘At Destination’ or ‘At the Peak’ depending on what mood Mr Google is in. I hope she’s reached the summit rather than the Final Destination.

However, the words (lyrics by Sigga Kling) “Eventually you reach your destination” do appear in the lyrics and it doesn’t seem to be a happy one for the female subject of the song whose “soul is broken” and she can’t do anything about it. There’s a clever line (in the English translation) “You wait for life but time stands still”, which I like.

By all accounts she’s on a hopeless quest, but “it’s never too late” and in the spirit of numerous other similar songs (my personal favourite is Sol Heilo’s ‘Walk a little further’, I won’t mention the Liverpool anthem ‘You’ll never walk alone’ – oops I just did –) the admirable advice is to “Take the first step and just walk straight…Eventually you reach your destination.”

As is often the case I wonder whether Soffía is singing about herself, with a third person distraction. She does tend to bare her soul from time to time, which is laudable. But if she is doing she’s finding Jesus at the same time as the song ends with the line “You just have to trust, then the Lord will take care of it.”

Musically she’s altered her style a little for this song. Much of ‘The Company you keep’ rocked if I remember, but at the same time it was quite dark in places, for example on songs like ‘Judgement Day.’ Here, she has lifted the mood considerably despite the sad subject matter and the song is perhaps best classed as a ballad.

The trademark electric guitar is there but plays second fiddle for much of the song to piano, synthesiser and acoustic guitar, together with a repetitive snare drum that sounds like its counting out time with purpose.

Sonically, she sings in a slightly higher voice then I recall her doing previously and even inserts a little melisma from time to time. I’m not sure if she did her own backing vocals as well but the harmonies are just so, anyway.

Soffía has indeed reached a new destination with this song, which I’m sure will be all over BYLGJAN, FM957, KISS FM and other Reykjavik radio stations before this little missive is even published. Is it a taste of her future direction? Time will tell.

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