Beautiful, heavenly and sleek, Frida Hyvönen stepped up onto the stage in a form fitting full-length black dress and a glass of white wine. Hailing from Sweden, Frida is young and vibrant but definitely reminds me of Joni Mitchell at times. When I first bought this album, on sale at the merchandise table for The Concretes, I didn’t really know what to expect. The cover literally made me think the songs would be more experimental and have somewhat of a Laurie Anderson feel to them. This just wasn’t the case. I’d recommend purchasing her album, which has now been released on Secretly Canadian.
After setting the wine glass onto the piano, Frida began singing songs from Until Death Comes. In a live setting, the songs seemed more personal, with certain lyrics seeming to be emphasized more than on the album. The most intimate point on the album and for the set was definitely “Once I Was a Serene Teenaged Child.” I’ve listened to her album and this song in particular thirty or forty times and I still passed over a lyric that when sung live suddenly hit me like a falling air conditioner. Frida also talked between songs about relationships and plays. Her banter was rather endearing and made one realize that she had a good personality underneath the folk songs. Her voice was perfect and being that close to her, there was definitely a sense of longing from the audience in the air.
Download: Frida Hyvönen - "You Never Got Me Right"
Frida was technically opening up for Brooklyn’s Bishop Allen who emerged on stage as a four-piece, the highlight of which was the singer’s Wurlitzer playing. There was quite a different following for Bishop Allen than Frida and the transition between the two felt very awkward, like if you had to listen to Kath Bloom followed by Birdmonster on a half hazard mixtape. There was definitely a following of fans for Bishop Allen who knew all the words and were ready to sing along without any prompting. I felt like I was really missing something as I stood there watching the audience’s heartfelt devotion.
Setlist for Bishop Allen: