Any lingering doubts about the Scandinavian scene’s pre-eminent role in great modern musical creation should be dispelled by Swedish Francophile Fredrika Stahl’s brilliant new album. Stylishly produced by Rob Ellis, Off to Dance crowns her as the rightful heir to Kate Bush as the new queen of refined, dreamy pop.
Fredrika Stahl was only eighteen when she started work on her first album. As with many initial projects, nothing happened overnight; the record took nearly four years to make. Since that first venture, the musician’s output has been impressive and regular, with a new album every two years. Fredrika would be the favourite in any contest for the most Francophile Swede. She spent part of her childhood in France and has lived there all of her adult life, and, above all, she speaks the language of Edith Piaf fluently). Now at just 28, she is releasing her fourth album, the dazzling Off to Dance. “Albums are getting more and more difficult to make because I don’t want to repeat myself. But that’s why it’s interesting.”
More than interesting, this latest album is enthralling. Not just a new departure, Off to Dance is a fabulous renaissance of Fredrika Stahl. Once a regular feature in magazine jazz columns, the artist has been reborn as a pop phenomenon, joining an eminent family including Emiliana Torrini, Feist, Kate Bush and Keren Ann.“Basically, I think my raw work has always been very pop,” she confides.