Yesterday we had a song about the fragility of life, and today’s song is also existential-themed, as it talks about death. The original version of this song, as most people will probably know, was recorded by Art Garfunkel In the 70’s, with the lyrics written by Mike Batt. I don’t really have any special feelings for this song as such (not even the fact that Declan Galbraith, one of my faza people, has covered it as well) but Sophie’s version is nice. I’ve introduced Sophie Zelmani to y’all a bit earlier this year, so if you read that post you know how I find her quite special, because even though her music never gives me any thrills or strong emotions or isn’t somehow breathtakingly beautiful, her voice is exceptionally soothing and calming to my brain, and I like her modest gentleness very much, and I like to listen to her when I’m having a migraine. So that’s why I thought she deserves more than just one of her songs being featured on here.
Today I’d like to introduce to you a Swedish singer and songwriter whom I’ve been liking and listening to for years, despite I’m not entirely sure why I like her as much as I do. I mean, yes, her music can be classified as folk, and her songwriting is very honest and genuine which is something I always like, but generally, I like it in music when it raises some strong feelings. I can’t really say that about Sophie Zelmani’s music, yet I like it a lot. It also has a bit of a country feel to it, which is normally something that I don’t like and that isn’t easily digestible to me even despite I’m so much into folk and these genres do often overlap, but in her case the country feel is so lite that it doesn’t really bother me most of the time. I just really like Sophie Zelmani’s music. I guess what draws me to it is that it’s just so unassumingly natural and extremely simple, and there’s something in it that I’ve always found very soothing in a way. I love Sophie’s quiet, very calm yet at the same time very expressive voice. I had a time when I would always listen to her whenever I had a migraine because of how I find her music and voice so soothing and it’s perfect as a background for sleep as well as something to wake up to. I often feel quite depressed while having a migraine and hearing Sophie would often make me feel more stable and balanced emotionally. I think Sophie must be a very balanced person herself as well, I can’t even imagine her screaming or anything like that. A lot of people listen to new age-y relaxing or other spiritual-type stuff to calm themselves down and help them fall asleep, but for me, Sophie works a lot better. I never get frisson or any spectacular sensations or feelings like that when listening to Sophie, I don’t find her music extremely beautiful or speaking to my soul or relatable or anything like that, yet something about it feels so homey and comforting that I keep coming back to it regularly, and so I thought I definitely should share something by her with you, and maybe some of you will feel similarly. Btw I’m curious if there’s anyone else out there for whom Sophie sounds extremely similar to Katie Melua. When I shared that with my late friend Jacek from Helsinki who also kinda liked Sophie’s music, he said that he doesn’t hear the similarity at all, but to me they sound insanely alike.
Sophie is born and based in Stockholm, and has some Russian ancestry. She started to play guitar when she was 14, and despite she had no professional music training, later she went on to write her own songs and then recorded them in a studio. She mailed the recording to three different record companies, apparently not expecting much, and was offered a record deal by Sony Music Sweden. Her debut album was very successful in her home country, and then later on she also got some recognition in other European countries and apparently in the US as well. On all her albums she collaborates with producer Lars Halapi. Sophie is quite shy so she doesn’t appear in public very much, she also says that she feels a lot better expressing herself through music rather than just talking. There seems to even be some myth in Sweden that when she was once interviewed on the Swedish public television SVT, she only said two words during the whole interview. Unsurprisingly, that’s not really true, she responded to all questions but just kept her responses short and sweet. Sophie is also mother to another successful singer and songwriter – Etta Zelmani. –
This song comes from her 2002 album called Sing and Dance.