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Inga Liljeström


Country of origin:

Australia/Finland

Type of music generally:

Beautiful & fierce eclectic ectronica, alternative pop

Status:

Most recent release, two dangers (2014)

See also:

Inga Liljeström's site

Inga Liljestr&oouml;m's Bandcamp site

Wikipedia's entry on Inga Liljeström

Inga Liljeström was part of the Quiet Music for Quiet People (2006) project and collaborated with Michael Lira on We Have Tigers (2015)

Comparisons:

Björk, Portishead, lamb, etc.

Covers/own material:

Own, occasional co-writing, occasional covers

General comments:

Her label says "Imagine Björk, Portishead + lamb on the set of David Lynch film" and that does somehow describe what's going on with her sound. She has a deepish lovely, raspy/edgy voice and the songwriting is cinematic and powerful. There are a lot of strings and beats making the sound both earthy and flowing. Passionate and ethereal. I see the lamb similarities, especially.
     Howver, that's less true of the music she's making now (2014 on). This is more focused on stripped-down moody traditional and neo-traditional compositions. What unites all her work are her gorgeous vocals. I'm a fan of both. (Neile)

Recommended first album:

Elk

Recordings:

  • Urchin (1998)
  • Elk (2003)
  • Sprawling Fawns (remixes and compliation, limited edition, 2006)
  • Black Crow Jane (2011)
  • Songs for the Hollow of His Heart (currently digital only, 2012)
  • two dangers (2014)
  • Live Solo Songs—first solo show London 2015 (digital, live, 2015)

Urchin

Released as by Inga [no last name]

Release info:

2003—Groovescooter—528770-2

Availability:

See Groovescooter Records site

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Inga Liljeström—vocals; programming (2, 4, 6, 7, 9), toy piano (3), guitar (10), piano (12), bells (13)

Guest artists:

Bob Scott—programming (1, 11, 113), remix (9)
Paul Searles—keyboard gurgles (2), programming (4, 7, 9)
Roger Holtom—cello (2, 5, 7, 8, 9, 12)
Natasha Rumiz—viola (2, 5, 7, 8, 9, 12), piano (2); violin (4, 5, 7, 8, 9)
Liberty Kerr—experimental cell0 (3, 12), cello (12)
Ben Rosen—bass (4, 6, 7)
Gene Gill—drums (4, 7)
Luke O'Niel—guitar (6)
Galit Massuri—prayer (13)

Produced by:

Bob Scott and Inga Lilgeström

Comments:

While not quite the equal of Elk (always a problem when an artist is maturing and you get earlier albums later) Urchin is still a strong, impressive debut. Inga Liljeström can really create an effective, unique sound while using the tools of other artists in the electronic music field. Of course it's a lot to do with her wonderful, hsuky, expressive, earthy/ethereal voice, but that's not all. She knows how to construct a song and a soundscape, and that's already apparent here. It's not Elk, but then nothing but Elk is, but it's pretty damn cool. "Tightness" is an especially great song, as is the taut and dramatic "Touch Tongue." (Neile)

Elk

Release info:

2003—Groovescooter—GS011

Availability:

See Groovescooter Records site for info

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Inga Liljeström—vocals, string arrangements, guitars, soundscapes, keyboards

Guest artists:

Haydn Walker—string arrangements, guitars
Michael Lira—string arrangements, guitars, double bass
Jacob Cook—beats
Bob Scott—beats
Liberty Kerr-guitars
Tim Rollinson—guitars
Clare Coooper—harp
Veronique Serret—violin
Natasha Rumiz—viola
Anthea Scott-Mitchell—cello
Peter Miller—whistle
Michael McMenomy—166mm projectos
Paul Searles—soundscapes, keyboards
Will Frasiersoundscapes, keyboards
3 Sloth—trumpet
Cameron Undy—double bass
Lloyd Swanton—double bass

Produced by:

Inga Liljeström and Liberty Keer (and one track with Bob Skot)

Comments:

This is one of the best and most eclectic albums I've heard in ages. There's a lot of trip-hop electronica on it, but there are also several stripped-down songs, so there are rich soundscapes but also simply powerful ballads. Evocative music, and highly, highly recommended. Inga Liljeström is has an amazing voice and knows how to use it in gorgeous, evocative ways. I love this album and it has stayed near the top of my playlist for five years already, and I don't expect to ever tire of it. The vocals, the song structures all are compelling. (Neile)

Sprawling Fawns

Release info:

2006—Groovescooter

Availability:

See Groovescooter Records site

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for Inga Liljeström fans

Group members:

Inga Liljeström—vocals; harp (7)

Guest artists:

Bob Scott—collaboration (1), remix (2)
Lake Lustre (3), Kevin Purdy (4), Jacob Cook (8), Saddleback goes to the valley (9), Ben Frost (10), Pimmon (11)—remixes
Peter Fenton—vocal duet (5)
Heidi Elva—harp, sloth-sounds (6)
Clare Cooper—harp (7)
Veronique—Serret—violin (5)
Sam Fonati—violin (2)

Comments:

"A collection of remixes, collaborations and new tracks". Mostly truly wonderful—the remixes make new songs of most of the tracks that are just as wonderful as the originals on Elk. I'm not wild about the covers of "Some Velvet Morning" and "Wild is the Wind"—for me both songs are powerful enough when sung simply that dramatizing them actually undermines their strength. However, I love the rest of this. Anyone who likes Elk will want this. Very cool packaging, too. (Neile)

Black Crow Jane

Release info:

2011—Groovescooter

Availability:

See Groovescooter Records site

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Inga Liljeström—vocals, ukulele, toy piano, acoustic guitar

Guest artists:

Guillamme Mague—electric, acoustic, and barytone guitars, keyboards, percussion
Jean-Philippe Feiss—cello
Théo Girard—double bass
Sébastien Brun—drums, percussion, electronics
Silvia Tarozzi—violin
Shan—tuba

Comments:

Wow! This is just as powerful as Elk, and maybe even more so. Well worth waiting for. It rocks but it's also haunting and utterly compelling. THe songs are full of conviction—you feel that she knowns what she's singing about and why she has to share it with you. While these songs make use of some electronics, it's not electronica and is stripped-down both musically and in raw emotion. I love the range she shows here. Highly recommended. (Neile)

One of the best albums of the year. (stjarnell@yahoo.com)


Two Dangers

Release info:

2014

Availability:

Wide online

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Inga Liljeström—vocals, nylon-string guitar

Guest artists:

Rens Van der Zalm—baritone guitar, guitar, mandolin (1, 7, 12); tenor accordion (7, 13)
Lenny Marks—slide guitar (1, 12); e-bow guitar (13)
Michael Bridges—violin, saw (7, 13)
Veronique Serret—violin string arrangements (5, 10, 14)
Lloyd Swanton—double bass (7. 10)
Sloth (Adam Burrell)—trumpet (5, 10)
Liberty Kerr—improvised cello (5)
Stu Hunter—piano (10)
Jean-Philippe Feiss—cello (2)
Guillaume Magne—guitar, banjo, shaker, handclaps, backing vocal (2, 3, 6, 11); string arrangement (2)
Julen Ome—mandolin, banjo, backing vocal (2, 3, 6, 11)
Melissa Cox—violin, backing vocal (2, 3, 6, 11)
Marion Gandjean—percussion (3)
Mikelangelo—vocals, guitar (8)
Michael Lira—all instruments and arrangements (4); clarient, bass clarinet, double bass (6); piano clarinet, bass clarient, guitars, percussion (14)

Comments:

This album has two traditional songs ("Katie Cruel" and "Black is the Colour"), two covers (Melanie Safka and Cat Stevens), a song written by Mikelangelo, and the rest are songs inspired by "influenced by Appalachian mountain music and a touch of '50s romance." It's a moody collection that suits Lileström's husky voice. Dark and delightful. (Neile)

Further info:

DVD video collection, Rådjur (wild deer) (c. 2006). Strange, beautiful, and highly recommended. Most of the videos are from Elk and also available on youtube. (Neile)

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Entry last updated 2016-08-27 22:11:00.
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