By Dave Bertram
Norwegian singer-songwriter Birgitta Alida is no stranger to the limelight. She’s sat at the vocal centre of some of the country’s most recent breakthrough groups – think the pure-pop quartet Strange Hellos and the jazz-ish pop troop Lumikide.
Now focused on pursuing a solo career, her transition under her own namesake has seemingly been a slower process than perhaps first envisaged. Her debut single, Something Real¸ was well-received on its release in late 2018 and brought to light a different stylistic string to her bow.
Drawing on the Motown era, the track builds on a string-heavy classical pop sound which explodes in the soaring chorus – any fans of McAlmont and Butler or Weyes Blood’s Titanic Rising will find similar parallels – with each instrument playing a vital harmonic part, nothing overdone or looped in for the sake of it. One could be forgiven for thinking it a straight, mid-tempo, by-numbers melancholy, before it launches into its transformative choral section.
Fast-forward 18 months and the track features on her first self-titled, six-track EP release, running five others which have been released periodically since. Each are loosely based around a similar template, with sonic and vocal influences ranging from the big pop of ABBA to the moodier, reverb drenched Melody’s Echo Chamber.
Past might rub closest to her Swedish elders, continuing the theme of breaking out of a mould and loving and losing, while Closely is a soulful, lovelorn romp which eschews much of that 60s pop vibe and likens itself to the output of a certain Welsh solo artist from the late noughties.
When I’m With You leans more heavily on a melodic guitar line with the intro to Stay Up taking some of its cues from Sgt Pepper, before launching into that all familiar string-fuelled, reverb-heavy chorus – you get the theme. That said, it’s one with plenty of promise and one we hope will form the basis of a soon-to-be-announced full length debut.