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Siv Jakobsen provides a refuge of relatability on A Temporary Soothing

"A Temporary Soothing"

Release date: 21 August 2020
Siv Jakobsen A Temporary Soothing Pack Shot
19 August 2020, 09:00 Written by Jay Singh
“What would I write about if I don’t fear the fear inside my bones?”

This is the big question posed by Norwegian singer-songwriter Siv Jakobsen on the opening track of her sophomore LP, A Temporary Soothing. It encapsulates the one of overarching themes of the album: Jakobsen’s worry that it’s impossible for her to create great music if she’s not struggling. On “Fear the Fear”, she pushes herself into a negative mindset for inspiration (“I place upon my chest / A rigid heaviness / So I may moan about it’s weight”), but as the album progresses it’s clear there’s more to Jakobsen than just her sadness.

From the weightless lilting of her vocals on “Shine” to the comforting companionship of “Only Life”, Jakobsen balances out the melancholy with doses of reassurance and empathy. “Island” is a welcome rush of rhythm — instead of thrashing against her anxieties, she dances amongst them with newfound confidence. It’s a testament to the record’s expert pacing, that it never drowns in its sorrows; Jakobsen proves to be self-aware enough to forbid that from happening, despite her prior sentiments.

Even in the record’s darker moments Jakobsen’s woes provide a refuge of relatability; they’re reminders that you’re not alone in feeling low. Her angelic vocal presence is a great aid to this — her understated delivery softens the blow of the confessional lyrics on “Anywhere Else”, each syllable so delicately enunciated. As the track gradually builds to a crescendo, pattering percussion and swells of strings breathe life into the track, into Jakobsen, and into the listener.

A Temporary Soothing is brimming with lush, cinematic instrumentation, and feels to be a real feat in comparison to the somewhat lo-fi nature of her earlier work. With the help of producer Chris Bond, Jakobsen has crafted a truly timeless piece of work that perfectly juggles both swooping emotion and the gentler, ever-present thrum of disquiet so many of us have grown accustomed to.

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