Is Siv Jakobsen leading the folk revival?

Nordic MellowNearly a decade ago, the musical world began to submerge into a state of flux. The UK had witnessed the rise and fall of what seemed like hundreds of male-led indie bands. Groups had fallen apart. NME had moved on. The kids who first embraced the scene had grown up and become disillusioned, or simply bored with the grimy basement clubs that had thrived throughout the era. Even internationally popular acts like The Strokes were struggling to retain their fans' attention.

Only a few, mainly left-field bands managed to survive the transition in style, as a new genre began to take hold. Folk slowly, quietly began to dominate independent labels and fans. It was during this time that DrunkenWerewolf launched. A vague introduction to Laura Marling featured as one of the very first DrunkenWerewolf blogs. Soon after we interviewed Mumford and Sons, then acting as Marling's backing band, for the accompanying fanzine. The rest, as they say, is history.

Though some musicians who found fame during the movement continue to release music and are celebrated artists, it's fair to say that like the scene before it, 'new' folk music gradually fell out of favour in Britain. That is, until now. With psych and grunge tucked under its arm, the genre is making a comeback. Early in her career, Marika Hackman was one of the first to catch our eye, and now Isaac GracieLucy RoseA.Dyjecinski and Fenne Lily regularly feature on our website. Of varying popularity, they all have one thing in common: they owe a debt to folk music.

The latest recruit is Siv Jakobsen and her debut album The Nordic Mellow. Unlike those mentioned above, this icy cool songwriter hails from Norway and brings a touch of Scandinavian mythology to her work. That's not the prevalent inspiration here, though. Her music bears remarkable similarities to Marling's I Speak Because I Can. The banjo-led "Shallow Digger" basically apes the first minute of "Devil's Spoke". It doesn't help that the following track, "Crazy", also sounds like a variant of a Marling song, this time "Made by Maid". It comes as no surprise that The Nordic Mellow's producer is Matt Ingram, who has also produced two albums by Marling to date.


That's okay. With the odd exception, The Nordic Mellow is its own beast, and Siv explores an intricate side of folk that the "Rambling Man" artist never really dug into. Standing tall in 2017, Jakobsen also brings a spark of everyday normality to rekindle the folk fire, and when this side of her music shines bright, she really begins to take flight.

The biggest pull to Jakobsen's music is that she manages to make relatively straightforward situations like travelling to Brooklyn and breaking up with her boyfriend sound like a fairytale. A standout track on the album is "Like I Used To", which sits in the middle of the playlist. It somehow echoes and builds throughout until it's firmly lodged in your brain, like a nursery song your mum used to sing to you but you've long since forgotten about. It'll stick with you for days. Another favourite is opening track "To Leave You", thanks to its beautifully fragile vocal delivery.

When Siv Jakobsen plays like Marling, she's impressive. When she plays her own tune, she'll chill your bones and warm your heart at the same time. These songs sound essential, and maybe that's because they are. Is this the second revival of folk in the 21st Century? We're not sure, but we're certainly happy to welcome Siv into the fold. Caught in the right light, The Nordic Mellow is a poetic masterpiece.

Release: 25th August 2017, The Nordic Mellow

One Response to “Is Siv Jakobsen leading the folk revival?”


  1. Is Siv Jakobsen leading the folk revival? – Live List - 27/08/2017

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