Alice Boman is arguably the most fascinating new artist to emerge out of my hometown of Malmö, and possibly from the whole of the Swedish indie scene. Her fragile voice is breathtakingly haunting in a way that reaches into the skin and spears right through the heart. Her music sounds like an overlooked folk recording from the 40’s or perhaps 50’s, but stylistically it’s closer to the folksy female songwriters of the late 60’s. Her aptly titled debut EP Skisser (means “Sketches” in Swedish) blends folk and country with a touch psychedelia, on where her intimate and vulnerable voice floats freely over vaguely stated instruments – mostly a lonesome piano or an organ – while evoking associations buried deep inside our collective memory.
The way these recordings embody a timeless charm is due to the manner they were recorded. The EP is a set of stripped down bedroom takes that were never meant to see the light of day. Thankfully, it somehow got past on to Adrian Recordings (home of some of the biggest indie names of southern Sweden; This Is Head, MF/MB, Familjen, to name a few) and the label eventually chose to release it. As her name will grow bigger, I’m fairly convinced that Alice will start messing with studio quality recordings, eventually even becoming a “household” name on the Swedish indie scene, but I’m also fairly convinced that she won’t ever create a sound this haunting and authentic. The naked rawness and edgy sound of these recordings are beautiful precisely because of its lo-fi simplicity. As soon as the budget will grow bigger, these qualities will suffer. But I’m keen on being proven wrong. But for now, Alice Boman has recorded a magnificent, elusively draped EP, not telling of its time, no place to call home, unbound of today, yesterday and tomorrow.