Nordic New Music: Siri Birk

From the beautiful west coast of Norway Siri Birk brings us her follow up album to the brilliant Songs for a Restless World – we speak with the singer about what to expect and how the album came about.

For those that might not have discovered your music yet how would you best describe it?

I think one could describe my music as soft and mellow, crisp and colorful. A bit like a sunny autumn morning, where the air is fresh, and there’s a hint of the coming winter, but the sun still warms your skin.

Tell us about your new album and thoughts going into making it?

I had the title Ways of Being before I made the songs, and went on a train ride through Europe to collect stories and write about the people and the places I met on my way. I wanted to dive into the different approaches to doing life, and I was lucky to be invited into many different homes, everyday lives, and ways of being.

In retrospect, I see the project as a reminder of all the things we have in common.

It includes field recordings – who were you speaking to and what sounds did you record?

The album starts with a snippet from a conversation I had with the amazing folksinger Alasdair Roberts, whom I met in London to dive into the British folksong tradition. He is talking about a song called The Heathery Hills.

On the track Liza, you’ll hear the sound of the street where I lived in Copenhagen, and the neighbor’s dog barking.

From Earth to Hand starts and ends with the sound of a garden in the french countryside (a lot of ducks there). This is the garden of Laurence, who was the root of inspiration for me to write the song.

The last track, Traveller, has several field recordings. It starts on a sailing trip in Norway, before it goes on to the ocean in Isle of Skye, then to a big rain shower in the Norwegian fjords, and finally, we end up with me playing guitar in a park in Paris. If you listen closely to Doing, you’ll also find that the whole song is based on one phone recording that I recorded back in the spring of 2019, long before the train travel and the idea of this album came.

Whereabouts are you from and where are some of your favourites places to hang out?

I grew up on the west coast of Norway, in a beautiful town called Sandane. It is a town by the Fjords and is a very precious place to me.

If I were to recommend a place to go, I would suggest following a mantra saying ‘go where people grow‘ – this has led me to many beautiful places.

With the album out what are your next plans?

I am going to play a tour! As an extension of the album, I am going to play concerts in small, intimate spaces like living rooms, galleries, and spaces you normally wouldn’t see as a concert venue. I wanna celebrate the places we have in our lives and meet you where you are.

What was the last TV Series/Film you watched, book you read, and album you listened to?

Series: I recently watched Sex Education! Wow, this is such an important series! Super educational and fun.

The last book was The 13 and a half lives of Captain Blue Bear – a children’s book about captain blue bears very exciting and eventful 13 and a half lives

And the album I just discovered is John Francis Flynns I Would not Live Always. I highly recommend it.

Interview by Alex Minnis

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