Sval – (I Can’t Be Your) Medicine

“Let’s focus on the good bits, as there are a multitude of those.”

Tim: There are two things about this that will really annoy you, so I’ll warn you about them first: one, the effect in the video, which is even worse than a VHS filter, and two, the fact that the songwriters seem to think ‘medicine’ rhymes with ‘fine’ – which is doubly odd because one of them is the singer.

Tim: Do we blame the English language for being stupidly inconsistent? Hmm, maybe, though there’s definitely no excuse for the poor compression effect – and what I really don’t get about that is that this is just a lyric video, and there’s no reason whatsoever to have it there, as it’s not a reference to anything. So who decided it? And, more importantly, why? Is there a reason I’m missing?

Those two things aside, I really like this.

Tom: I have no issue with either of those things. At least the chromatic aberration and digital glitching is modern — heck, in thirty years’ time, that’ll be retro. And as for the rhyme, I’m not at all convinced that it’s intended to rhyme: I think it’s just a coincidence that the words happened to be spelled the same. I think it’s deliberately meant to break the rhyme scheme.

Does that help?

Tim: Hmmm…maybe – the annoying thing is that other lines in the chorus do end with a firm ‘I’ sound, so it’s not clear what there rhyme scheme is meant to be, but OH WELL let’s focus on the good bits, as there are a multitude of those. The gentle introduction of various instruments throughout the first verse works well, her voice is as lovely as ever, particularly when it’s heard in the almost a cappella bits of the chorus, and all in all it just…works, for me. I like it a lot.

Tom: Yep, agreed. It’s a lovely track, particularly that final chorus.

Tim: Just, agh, that rhyme.

Sval – Breathe Easy

“That’s a good introduction!”

Tim: Bit of lovely pop for you today, from Sval who’s been off for aaaaaages, but has now started singing in English for us.

Tom: That’s a good introduction! And a promising first verse.

Tim: Isn’t it? A quiet verse perhaps, but with that intermittent high note that reminds remind of a lovely Sound of Arrows track, so that’s fine by me, and then that’s just an all-round great chorus.

Tom: It is, although I think again you’re being a bit too generous with “great” there. It’s good! It’s not bad! I mean, it’s not awful, certainly. It’s, sure, it’ll do.

Tim: The clapping back in from the middle eight works well, although it’s possibly a tad uninspired, and everything’s just pretty good, really. It’s a nice track.

Sval – Fasitsvar

“One of the best tracks we’ve covered in weeks.”

Tim: Last time we talked about Sval, you mentioned you were ‘a sucker for a well-placed “heeey” sample’. Assuming the same hold true for a “heeeyo”, this one may well hit the spot.

Tim: And what a horribly abrupt ending that was.

Tom: What? That was a brilliant ending. In fact that was a brilliant track. And an astonishing video. In fact, all of that added up to one of the best tracks we’ve covered in weeks.

Tim: You’ll recall she’s Norwegian; the title means “definitive answer”.

Tom: And the chorus translates, roughly, as “we are in the midst of everything and we are nothing, and we are here without any definitive answer”. I’m not quite sure what that’s about.

Tim: I don’t care, though, because aside from the first verse that sounds too quiet after the hefty intro, and the aforementioned ending, this is a lovely track. She has a lovely voice, the instrumentation underneath is that lovely but not hugely common combination of drum-led and listenable. I’ve said lovely a lot there, but never mind.

Tom: That pretty much sums up my thoughts: more like this, please.

Tim: This is a very, very good track, and one that’s really got me hoping an album’s not far behind.

Sval – Tidsfrist

‘I’m a sucker for a well-placed “heeey”.’

Tim: Melodi Grand Prix Junior is a Norwegian singing competition for kiddies, which in the past has been used to choose finalists for Junor Eurovision and MGP Nordic (sort of a Scandinavians-only Junior Eurovision), but nowadays is held just for the fun of it. Sval here won it in 2011 at the age of 12, and now, two and half years later she’s making a proper commercial debut.

Tim: And that’ll do me nicely.

Tom: I wasn’t sold on it until that chorus arrived – but then, I’m a sucker for a well-placed “heeey” sample.

Tim: It’s a good enough debut, and certainly an indicator of future potential. I like a good loud female pop singer, and while this isn’t truly massive or ground-breaking, or enough to get me properly excited to write lots of words about it, it’s certainly perfectly listenable.

Tom: Agreed. What’s it all about, then?

Tim: The lyrics, coming as they do with a perfectly acceptable lyric video, are all about her leaving it too late to tell someone she fancies him.

Tom: How breathtakingly original.

Tim: Indeed – just the tragedies of youth. Next, please.