One of the most emblematic artistic representations of anxiety disorders is without a doubt The Scream, a famous painting by the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch (1863-1944), himself subject to serious episodes of nervous breakdown. However, Munch claimed that he could not shake off his mental health problems since they were the source of a significant part of his artistic creation. These words are disturbingly similar to those of another Norwegian artist, folk singer Siv Jakobsen, who has just released her second album, A Temporary Soothing.
From “Fear the Fear”, the first track on the program, the musician sets the table by confessing to being afraid of the ghost hiding under her bed night after night. However, she says she worries that this ghost will leave her, for fear of losing inspiration if this anguish stops tormenting her. Always this anxiety of having nothing more to say, if the tension caused by the evil of living were to disappear.
Rest assured: on A Temporary Soothing, not everything is as dark as the water in which the singer floats on the album cover. The aerial melodies of her cantilenas are carried by often dynamic rhythms that help them lift off the black earth. As for the luminous arrangements that adorn them, they’re the work of a goldsmith; whether it is the subtle electronic touches scattered like stars here and there, or the magnificent strings that wrap the jewels that are “Fear the Fear” and “A Feeling Felt or a Feeling Made”. And there’s that voice, whose sweetness of tone will comfort anxious souls that recognize themselves in the words of Ms. Jakobsen. Even if it is only a temporary relief.