The Swedes get credit for incorporating good taste into their music awards. Anna Ternheim, a new voice in the US, is already a star singer-songwriter in her native Sweden, having been nominated for a handful of Swedish Grammys this year and winning in the category of Best New Artist. Ternheim’s sound is folky in a way that Nick Drake and Beth Orton would understand, with a unique and charming voice brimming with ability.
Instead of weaving layers of pretension and sentimentality like many singer-songwriters, Anna Ternheim makes depth and emotion feel fresh with gently textured arrangements, straightforward lyrics and superb performances. Her subjects aren't vague. “Today Is A Good Day” is overtly optimistic, exploring the daily struggle with a relationship that still lingers. “Lover’s Dream” reveals hopes about unrequited love, capturing the tentative yearning of longing in secret. Ternheim also tries her luck with David Bowie’s classic “China Girl”. Her somber, meditative rendition brings such a different presence to this familiar song that the meaning and story within seem to change.
In addition to this new cover and another song penned for this release, the EP draws songs from Anna Ternheim’s two previous full-length albums. It’s a great introduction to a promising new voice in music.