Yes, the album of Bergen-based singer Jarle Skavhellen is out for a couple of months now but we have to write about it because it is a very, very strong debut album that is a pleasure to hear every time. We first heard about Jarle in preparing for last year’s Vill Vill Vest festival when we heard and saw his fab video for the title song of the album, The Ghost In Your Smile. At the festival itself it was our start visiting the great Apollon record store to see him perform his new songs live in the backyard. A perfect start into the festival!.
The ghost in your smile is a good setting for the whole record: Intelligent melodies and texts in a folk-music setting that sometimes brings in electronic components. Combined with the unique voice of Jarle we could call it “modern folk” with a touch of Bob Dylan.
On the second song Now that I now that experience is more clear – a country-esque song that comes to an melancholic pop-chorus. Strong!
Coming home is a quiet song about the feeling of coming home that brings in more positivity with the acoustic guitars and trumpets.
Then there is Matylda, a song that is live even better than on record. Classic songwriting. Classic singing.
But with Pilots he tops everything – a song that starts quiet and evolves with every minute. This really is an instant classic and is in our playlists since then. A chorus that brightens up everytime with well played chord changes.
Paper Mache, Part of the scenery, Final days and Seventeen follow that path – and A life that’s gone is a dignified last song for this record.
If anyone wonders how folk music should sound nowadways – take a listen to Jarle Skavhellen’s album and you have the answer.