Swedish folk musician turned Denver resident, Elin Palmer varies her song-craft between orchestration and experimentation. Her songs mesh the two arenas of folk, often dabbling in a fairly sizable amount of pop as well. Palmer’s brilliance is partly due to her mystic voice — the Swedish accent is truly what does it. But wherever the unique instrumentation dominates, sheer brilliance ensues.
Title track “Postcard”, and epic closer “Whaleboat” find Palmer developing that interesting balance between the two sounds (orchestral and experimental). The former, as the opening song on the album, acts as an introduction to a sound both fresh and rewarding. The latter concludes Postcard with an almost anthemic climax; about as much as you can expect from an album that is dominated by folk.
“Time” and “No Use” are equally as intriguing; Palmer adds a lovely waltz-ing accordion in each that creates a very harmonic effect. Violin and cello are the focus in “Stora Stoular”, where Palmer slips into her native tongue (a guess, as I do not speak the language). The same happens in “Duvardar” with a more rewarding result.
The power behind Postcard is truly no surprise. Palmer strikes out on her own for the first time after playing part in several fairly well-known acts, from Devotchka to Crooked Fingers. This debut solo effort is well worth every moment, and Palmer has the ability to become just as familiar a name as the groups in which she’s performed.
Elin Palmer: Postcard [mp3]
4. Stora Stoular
7. No Use