Josefine Cronholm ‘Songs of the Falling Feather’ (ACT) 3/5

Swedish singer Josefine Cronholm belongs firmly in the singer-songwriter category and if anything her music verges towards the folk-rock era of early Joni Mitchell with the odd nod to jazzier inflections as previous collaborations with former Miles Davis percussionist Marilyn Mazur have hinted at. Now resident in Copenhagen where the album was recorded, Cronholm has co-produced a reflective and intimate album that in some ways is comparable to Joni’s ‘Blue’ recording. This is most evident on ‘Winter princess’ which is, perhaps, her finest vocal performance while ‘Quiet’ enters Norah Jones territory and with the subtle use of trumpet is the closest that Cronholm gets to jazz. Pared down instrumentation on the folksy ‘Seagulls’ with just guitar to accompany impresses and the use of strings is never intrusive. In general the sparseness of the musical environment merely reflects Cronholm’s own upbringing in the wide expansive forest land of Sweden. The project is the brainchild not only of Josefine Cronholm, but of co-arranger, producer and fellow musician Henrik Lindstrand. The majority of the album is in a similar laid back mood and some change in tempo would have provided the listener with a little more variety. Nonethless this has plenty of potential to appeal to a diverse audience from folk fans through to mainstream pop.

Tim Stenhouse