When Swedish singer and songwriter Sofia Talvik began taking her music on the road eight years ago, her long tours of the United States and other countries sparked musings about home, as both a tangible place and an idea.
“Because of all the touring, I started thinking more about home and where is home,” Talvik said. “When you grow older, you can appreciate it more. You can see the beauty that was lost on a teenager.”
As Talvik prepares to bring her Americana folk-flavored music to the Cannon Beach History Center and Museum on Thursday, June 13, as part of her 2019 World Tour, guests can anticipate joining her on a reminiscent journey of her small hometown island off the Swedish west coast and her experiences being on the road.
As a soloist, Talvik seeks opportunities to play at smaller, more intimate venues that incorporate “that ’70s coffee-house feel” and where she can make genuine connections with the audience.
Liz Johnson, the Cannon Beach Museum’s outreach coordinator, said they look forward to hosting Talvik. The museum works to create programs that are “different from what else is going on around town,” Johnson said, and also seek quality musicians that will appeal to a wide age group.
Influence of home
Talvik remembers being a teenager in a small, coastal town feeling restless and longing for excitement.
She and her friends would hop on the car ferry that traveled from the island to the mainland and knock on the side of car doors to hitch a ride into the city.
Visiting as an adult, she views it as a treat to return to a place that feels familiar and safe, but as “a restless soul,” she wouldn’t want to move back permanently, she said.
“If I’m at home for too long, I appreciate having all the different impressions I get from going to different countries,” she added. “It’s the contrast, I guess, that I like.”
Talvik’s sixth full-length album, “Big Sky Country,” released in 2015, was heavily inspired by her experiences on the road and how it influenced her perspective of her hometown, causing her to reflect on it with “different eyes,” she said.
Bittersweet memories are also encapsulated in her single “Take Me Home,” which made the Top 10 Folk Radio Charts when it was released in the U.S. in April.
Talvik learned to play piano during her youth. As a teenager, she began writing songs to help teach herself how to play guitar.
She put together a demo tape that was played by a local radio station, sparking her venture into music as a profession.
Talvik organized a backing band in Sweden and produced her first album, “Blue Moon,” in 2005. She started a record label with her husband Jonas Westin in 2006 and began touring as a soloist at home and abroad.
In 2011, she and Westin headed to the states on a two-year visa. They were on the road a year and a half, traveling in a 1989 Winnebago Warrior.
“In the beginning, we had no idea what we were doing,” she said. “We played anything we could find.”
Touring and new music
Now, she consistently spends six months each year in Europe and six months in the United States.
She has played concerts in large cities, like Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City.
Although she has produced several albums and been on multiple tours, the experience is still both exciting and nerve-wracking.
“It’s really like magic to see [the albums] come to life with instruments,” she said. “But then of course you always kind of second-guess yourself and question everything. It kind of goes into different stages.”
The studio album she is releasing this year, “Paws of a Bear,” has taken “quite a bit of time to produce,” she said, adding in between writing songs, she let them “rest for a little bit” before reviewing and revising them.
“Once it’s out there, it’s just out there, and then hopefully you’ll be really proud of it,” she said.