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Anna Ternheim


Country of origin:

Sweden

Type of music generally:

Dark, dreamy folk/pop

Status:

Most recent release, For the Young (2015)

See also:

Anna Ternheim's site

Wikipedia's entry for Anna Ternheim

Comparisons:

Stina Nordenstam, Emiliana Torrini, Sarah Blasko

Covers/own material:

Mostly own, occasional co-writing, occasional covers

General comments:

she makes chilly, autumnal music slightly like stina nordenstam. very understated but cool. (stjarnell@yahoo.com)

Anna Ternheim can be moody and introspective, but she can also do upbeat pop. I think overall she has a similar sensibility to Sarah Blasko, though her music is less electronic. I also hear echoes of Beth Orton, and sometimes she uses her voice like Karen Peris of The Innocence Mission. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Anna Ternheim is easily my favourite new artist of 2005, though it was a *very* good year. (kjetilho@ifi.uio.no)

Recommended first album:

Halfway to Fivepoints or Leaving on a Mayday

Recordings:


Somebody Outside

Release info:

2004—Stockholm Records/Universal

Availability:

Sweden

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Anna Ternheim—vocals

Guest artists:

The Band:
     Daniel Jansson—guitar (1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9)
     Pelle Jacobsson—drums (2, 4, 6, 8, 9); saw (6)
     Mattias Areskog—bass (1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9)
     Äsa Jacobsson—piano (1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9); organ (5, 6)
     Anders Ljung—drums, organ (1); pedal steel (2); synthesizer (6)
Linus Larsson—bass, omnichord, drilling machine (2); organ (3, 9), guitar (4), mobile phone (6)
Johan Lindström—pedal steel (7)
Andreas Dahlbäck—organ (2); backing vocals (3, 10), tambourine, castanets (4); shaker (5); omnichord, solina strings (6); bells (9)
Josef Belzikoff—clarinet (8)
Frerik Oscarsson—trumpet (40

Produced by:

Anna Ternheim; with Anders Ljung, Äsa Jacobsson, Mattias Areskog, Daniel Jansson (1); with Linus Larsson, Andreas Dahbäck and The Band (2, 3, 6, 8, 9); with Andreas Dahlbäck (3, 7, 10); with Daniel Jansson (5)

Comments:

Anna Ternheim seems to these Scandinavian ears icy, mysterious like a goddess of snow. She arrived fully formed with this collection of sad-eyed yet resilient songs. Her vocal delivery is hesitant, almost reluctant, measuring each word before it leaves her lips. The suicidal hymn "To be gone" intones "leave the body, leave the mind." It answers the Danish prince's question of to be or not to be with "not to be". Then there's the rueful "Better be" which hopes that a lover will find a good girlfriend next time around. A sliver of hope enters the proceedings as she isn't all about death or loss of love "My Secret" finds consolation in secrecy and loneliness, Ternheim seeming like a modern day Garbo, supreme in her isolation. The closing cover of Broder Daniel's desperate "Shoreline" is hardly cheerful. It literally leaves the listener stranded north of the Arctic Circle. "You die when you're young" she sings. Her music has so much darkness, but also so much tenderness and hope. It's an essential album and a gorgeous one at that. (stjarnell@yahoo.com)

Shoreline EP

Release info:

2005—Stockholm Records/Universal

Availability:

Hard to find

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Anna Ternheim—vocals, piano, organ, guitar, backing vocals

Guest artists:

Andreas Dahlbäck—backing vocals (1, 3, 4); piano (2); fingerpiano (3); organ (5)
Johan Lindström—guitar (2, 3); beatbox (3)
Peter McMarc—harmonica (2)

Produced by:

Anna Ternheim and Andreas Dahlbäck

Comments:

Disc includes "Shoreline" from Somebody Outside and four other tracks.

Swedish singer covers Eurythmics' "When tomorrow comes" and Bowie's "China Girl" in superlative fashion. (stjarnell@yahoo.com)


Separation Road

Release info:

2006—Stockholm Records/Universal

Availability:

Sweden

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended
H4>Group members:
Anna Ternheim—vocals, backing vocals, acoustic guitar

Guest artists:

Pelle Jacobsson—drums (2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 10); marimba (2); bongos (2 10),; vibraphone (3, 7); crotales (4); snare (8); tubular bells (8); xylophone (10)
Jesper Nordenström—piano (2, 4, 5, 6,); wurlitzer (3); keyboards (7); organ (10)
Sven Lindvall—bass (2, 5, 10); double bass (3, 4); synth bass (7, 8)
Staffan Andersson;—electric guitar (2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10); monster guitar (4); chorus electric guitar (5)
Torbjörn Bernhardsson—violin (1, 2, 5, 7, 10, 11)
Per Öhman—violin (1, 2, 5, 7, 10, 11)
Mikael Sjögren—viola (1, 2, 5, 7, 10, 11)
Ulrika Edström—celll (1, 2, 5, 7, 10, 11)
Linus Larsson—space guitar (3); triangle (5)
Andreas Dahlbäck—backing vocals (3, 5, 7); synthesizer (3, 8, 9); spoon piano (5); moog bass (5); drums (8); piano (8), organ (11)
Kristoffer Wallman—synthesizer (3, 8)
Daniel Jansson—verse electric guitar and 12-string guitar (5)
Johan Lindtröm—outro electric guitar (5)
Leo Svensson—saw (7)
Klas Jervfors—euphonium, trombone, trumpet, alto horn, French horn (9)
Viktor Hvidfeldt—additional violin (11)

Produced by:

Andreas Dahlbäck; co-produced by Anna Ternheim

Comments:

Ternheim's second album doesn't exactly lift its gaze from solitude and depression, but the palette is more vivid and the music bolder. "Girl laying down" is almost Waitsian in its verses where the instruments crash against the tale of a closed off life. "Today is a good day" despite the title, sounds defiantly proud in its sadness. "My life was a mess when I shared it with you" she sighs, seeing some consolation in self-containment. Song after song views the intrusion of a lover into the perfectly ordered life of a solitary being with guarded caution. "Lovers dream" sees her letting down her guard, but fearing it's already too late. Ternheim lays it all bare in her complex, troubled and troubling songs. She's not a warm, approachable singer and therein lays her allure. Here she's even better than on her debut. (stjarnell@yahoo.com)

Anna Ternheim EP

Release info:

2007—Decca Records—B0009985-12

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Anna Ternheim—vocals, backing vocals, claves, acoustic guitar, guitar

Guest artists:

Stockholm Session Strings—strings (1)
Johan Lindström—acoustic guitar, string arrangement (1); guitar, beatbox (5)
Torbjörn Bernhardsson—violin (1)
Per Öhman—violin (1)
Mikael Sjögren—viola (1)
Ulrika Edström—cello (1)
Pelle Jacobsson—tambourine, xylophone, glockenspiel (2); drums, vibraphone (3)
Staffan Andersson—blues and chorus guitar (2); electric guitar (3)
Andreas Dahlbäck—drums, claves, piano, Rhodes, pump organ, programming (2); synthesizers (2, 3); backing vocals (3-5); finger piano (5); bells (6)
Jesper Nordenström—Wurlitzer (3); piano (5)
Sven Lindvall—double bass (3)
Linus Larsson—space guitar (3); organ (4, 6)
Åsa Jacobsson—piano (6)
Daniel Jansson—guitar (6)
Mattias Areskog—bass (6)

Produced by:

Johan Lindström (1); Andreas Dahlbäck (2, 6); Anna Ternheim (2-6); Linus Larson (6); The Band (6)

Comments:

This EP compiled from previous work is a good introduction to her work and was intended to be just that for US audiences. I used to think of it as being mostly dark but sunny in places and only right for certain moods, but now I think of it like dusk, many shades of light and dark. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Halfway to Fivepoints

Release info:

2008

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Comments:

This album is hauntingly beautiful—at times reminds me of Sandy Denny or Linda Thompson—that great classic folk with great vocals. (jjhanson@att.net)

Similar in style and mood to the Anna Ternheim EP (and repeating two songs) and equally good. Love the cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Little Lies." (JoAnn Whetsell)


Leaving on a Mayday

Release info:

2008—Verve Forecast

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended
H4>Group members:
Anna Ternheim—vocals, acoustic guitar

Guest artists:

Björn Yttling—electric bass (1, 2, 6, 7, 9, 11); piano (1, 3, 4, 7); percussion (7, 9, 11); backing vocals (1, 7, 11); string arrangement (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6); acoustic guitar (6, 7, 10); keyboards (7, 9, 11); 12-string guitar (7)
Greta Bondersson, Stella Bondersson, Sunmira Bondersson—backing vocals (1, 4, 6, 8)
Fredrick Rundquist—drums (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
Andreas Forsman—violin (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
Johan Marén—violin (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
Thomas Ringqvist—viola (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
Andreas Forsman—violin (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
Emma Lindhamre—cello (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
Pelle Jacobsson—percussion (1, 3, 4); vibraphone (3, 5)
Andreas Stenberg—acoustic guitar (2, 4)
Peter Forss—upright bass (3, 4, 5)
Matt Sweeney—guitar (3); electric and acoustic guitar (9); acoustic guitar (10, 11)
Tommy Andresson—keyboards (6)
Steve Shelley drums (9)
Lasse Mårtén—percussion (7)
Efe-Kari Larson, Linn Segelson—backing vocals (7)

Produced by:

Björn Yttling

Comments:

Ternheim's third album has the same melancholy slant as her previous ones, but some more hope finds it way in. The up-tempo "What have I done" feels lighter than anything she's done before. Lyrically it's even tempered by a need for love and companionship in a less troubled way than in her previous work. The presence of a wider musical landscape hardly hurts either, the singer's still mysterious and icy, and her magic is undimmed. The sweeping use of strings on some songs is a film soundtrack waiting to happen. The lighter tone really becomes the singer. An early edition of the album adds a few odd Sinatra covers, but they are hardly essential. (stjarnell@yahoo.com)

Another great album from Anna—I think I prefer her simpler folk arrangements—this album has lots of interesting musical things going on, but I find it distracts a bit from her pure voice. (jjhanson@att.net)

I fell in love with her music when I first listened to her last album Halfway To Fivepoints. The new album does not disappoint. Quietly powerful music. Listen to "No, I Don't Remember," "My Heart Still Beats For You" and "Make It On My Own." (jonwesleyhuff@gmail.com)

This is the album that really makes me think of Sarah Blasko. Musically there is more urgency; previous releases feel more laidback. I like both approaches. (JoAnn Whetsell)


The Night Visitor

Release info:

2012

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Comments:

This album is quieter, slower, folkier. It reminds me a lot of The Innocence Mission. It's pretty, but not as captivating to me as earlier releases. (JoAnn Whetsell)

I really liked the Anna Ternheim album, though I'm not sure it's grabbed me immediately and completely as past releases. (jonwesleyhuff@gmail.com)

One of the best albums of 2011. (lasherboy@gmail.com)


Further info:

Collaborations include:

  • "Somebody's Outside" with John Dahlbäck on his album At the Gun Show (2006)
  • Spår" with Tomas Andersson Wij on his Spår (2010)


Thanks to JoAnn Whetsell and Anna Maria Stjärnell for work on this entry.

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DISCLAIMER: Comments and reviews in the Ectophiles' Guide are excerpted from the ecto mailing list or volunteered by members of the list. They are the opinions of music enthusiasts, not professional music critics.

Entry last updated 2016-06-12 15:47:39.
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