Sweden - Full Moon 106 - 05/23/05
Sofia Härdig and the Needles
The Storm in my head + The Demotapes album
Sofia Härdig is a strong singer and her backing band includes members from Hellacopters and bob hund. Her music bears a distinct resemblance to Patti Smith and a little bit to PJ Harvey.
Her darkly alluring tones on "Backwards into the Night" makes the song special. "Bring It Home" is what the Yeah Yeah Yeahs might be up to now, all choppy rhythms and charismatic singing. Härdig really connects with "Water Surrounds us", a deliciously emotional song underpinned by a Bad Seeds-y organ and a passionate vocal performance. Here she seems to go from sadness to unholy joy in a heartbeat.
"For a man/for a week" displays punkish attitude to spare and the snotty singing is brilliant. This is a truly stellar debut.
Following the full band effort Härdig has released a solo effort called "The Demotapes Album". Recorded in three weeks, it's a pared-down but still important record.
Härdig's voice can carry her songs even here. The calm "Shy Away" is a fine moment, carried by some nice guitar playing. "A Ship" has some truly demented singing and a palpable intensity. A version of "Backwards into the Night" closes this album and is just as good as The Storm in My head version, but rawer and more primal.
Copyright © 2005 Anna Maria Stjärnell