Anna Ternheim is a 28 year-old singer-songwriter who hails from Stockholm. Her second album Separation Road is due for release in Sweden at time of writing (Oct 06), but she might struggle to top this, her wonderfully compelling debut album from 2004. For the recording of Somebody Outside, Ternheim relocated her band to a remote Swedish Island called Gotland. This isolated atmosphere no doubt lent itself to some intense self-scrutiny, the result being a seductive folk-pop record that aches with the hurt and loneliness of a recent break-up.
Somebody Outside starts wonderfully with the haunting `To Be Gone' - a beguiling tune that, like much of her work, wouldn't sound out of place in 1966. Adding to this feel is Ternheim herself, whose arresting vocal style seems preserved from another era - four decades ago, to be precise. On the glorious, shimmering `Better Be' the singer works through her feelings of loss and trying to move on after being burnt by love, and when the background textures, atmospheric guitar sounds and Ternheim' soaring voice all collide, the effect is little short of magical. The propulsive `A French Love' sounds like a classic chase-scene out of a James Bond movie. Elsewhere, songs like `I'll Follow You Tonight' or `I Say No' are more understated musically, but no less gripping, or beautiful in execution. The record finishes as strongly as it started, with the captivating `My Secret' and the delicate, piano-led closer `Shoreline' - a song so warm, moving and emotionally honest, it could thaw out the most frosted-over of hearts.
Anna Ternheim is a bewitching talent and a remarkable find. I can't wait to hear more from her.
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