25 September 2023

Things You Leave Behind

Start the conversation

Reviewed by Ian Phillips.

By Rebekka Bakken, Sony Music 2018.

Oh man I love this album.

Rebekka Bakken is a Norwegian singer songwriter who has been around for some time but for some reason I’ve never listened to an entire album of hers until this album came to me.

She is possessed of a fantastic bluesy voice which is capable of great strength but also wonderful intimacy.

This album developed out of turmoil.

Her tour agent died and she now has a new agent and record label.

She moved back to Norway, into a new relationship, and she now has a child.

She had been domiciled in New York but became disenchanted with the “green tea and organic juices” set that she always felt strange and weird amongst so she knew a change was in order.

She comments “You know that I’m Norwegian, I like my men on ice”.

Out of this mood of irritation a whole new set of songs emerged.

Apart from two songs, all the rest have been written by Rebekka.

One of the covers she does is a beautiful and melancholy version of Cindy Lauper’s Time After Time.

Rebekka’s music is stylistically different from much of what you’d hear on commercial radio but its eclecticism is connected by her incredible voice.

There is unbelievable variety on the album.

You’ll find spoken word a la Tom Waits in Dance For You, emotional gospel, rocking blues (Black Shades), melancholic country (Sound Of Us), the German Music Hall of Hotel St. Pauli, and even a bit of rag-time in Charlie.

Even when she’s doing pop it’s done with a twist.

There is the atmospheric vintage pop of the deeply sad ballad True North but also the wonderfully dramatic Shelter.

This is a fantastic album.

Rebekka has not only written and arranged most of it, she has self-produced it.

To top it all off, she recorded the whole lot in an analogue studio with her long-time band and left the recording as unadorned as possible.

This is an album that you want to hear over and over again.

That is not something I often say.

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.