Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Melissa Horn: Lät Du Henne Komma Närmre? [Did You Let Her Get Closer?]

A big name in her native Sweden, young singer/songwriter Melissa Horn sings exclusively in Swedish, but fortunately music is universally understood. Lovely hushed vocals and guitar and excellent lyrics, some of which have been translated by her fans in the comment space on YouTube. Having been raised in Denmark, I also speak and understand Swedish which - contrary to the more flat and gutteral sounding Danish - is very melodic. You might even say that Swedish is the Italian of the Northern European languages and thus made for music.

In an interview Melissa Horn says that she has no desire for fame. If not recording in English, an artist will sadly rarely gain recognition outside their home turf. Most likely she will not be singing in English anytime soon and she shouldn't - it's partly what sets her apart from a large crop of female singer/songwriters. Still, it'd be pretty great to have her do shows in the US - she is no doubt the kind of artist whom American audiences would pay to see in concert despite not knowing a lick of Swedish.

A comparison to the young Joni Mitchell is always tempting when discovering a new female singer/songwriter. However, (ignoring the big age difference for argument's sake) the love child of Alison Krauss and Leonard Cohen is what came to mind as I listened to Melissa Horn's songs.