Changes Like the Weather in the Mountain is the solo debut album of singer-songwriter, guitarist and Hardanger fiddler Selma French Bolstad, known from the folk bands Masåva and Morgonrode. The new album expresses her fascination with British folk music, with the obvious seminal influence of Nick Drake and Sandy Denny, and suggests an ethereal feeling coming from an unknown palace. French is accompanied by close friends – keyboards player Anja Lauvdal, Lauvdal’s partner, guitarist Christian Winther and his brother drummer Andreas Winther, the partner of French.
French describes her songs as telling stories about her emotional shifts in life, from the extreme of euphoric happiness to existential crisis, like the sudden changes in the weather, especially in the mountains. Her songs are melodic but the arrangements offer a sense of open, adventurous landscapes. The topics of the songs deal with everyday bittersweet and humorous personal themes, some are simple and others are painful. Her heartfelt, innocent voice, her openly emotional delivery and her gentle strumming on the acoustic guitar stress how she owns her songs.
French’s songs play cleverly with contracting, complementing elements, like the constant shifting weather in the mountains. «Listen to the kids» is half a protest song and the other half offers hope for a better future and highlights the tension between the seemingly simple and straightforward delivery of French and the way Anja Lauvdal and Christian Winther charge the song with urgent, unsettling tension. «Honey» infectious, folky hook is spiraled to outer space by Lauvdal’s analog synth. The title song gently swings between a light, breezy atmosphere and a melancholic mood, capturing beautifully the spirit of this engaging album.
Selma French (vocals, ac.g, fiddle), Anja Lauvdal (synth, Wurlitzer), Christian Winther (el.g), Andreas Winther (dr)