(5 / 5)
A beautiful voice on a beautiful six song EP of originals from this talented Swedish singer songwriter. The title referring to her choice of songs for this record from the maetrial she has written and collated in the last seven years.
The opener, “I Will Always Love You Like I Do (Flowers)”, immediately connects emotionally, and grabs the attention from the off. The timbre and tone of Sandra Marielle’s soulful voice leads me to recall the great Dionne Warwick.
The second cut, another song penned entirely by Sandra, “This Little Song” is even more Dionne Warwick vocally, and shows off Marielle’s impressive range, especially the higher end of the register.
It is a tough job to label exactly what she is doing here. The songs are a mixed bag of styles, but at its core it has a soulful and honest soul-pop foundation perhaps. I suspect Sandra Marielle could sing the telephone book and make it sound good.
Good hook on “Make A Bet (With Your Own Fate)”, Ms Marielle writing the lyrics and being joined by Peter Bohlin on penning the music. A slight increase in pace on cut four, from the previous gentler songs. “Leaving You”, again penned entirely by Sandra Marielle. She certainly knows how to lift the words off the page, vocally, and has a good ear for a hook and a melody.
Another co-write on the lovely Eva Cassidy-esque “Isa Dry Your Tears”, which was released as a single – this is a re-mixed version. Written with Peter Egner, who plays guitar across the record and is the arranger. Peter Bohlin also plays guitars, bass, percussion, melodica, synth’, keyboards, string arrangements and sings backing vocals. Peter provides his studio for the project too. Andreas Baw plays drums and Johanna Hyden is on cello. Sandra takes on all lead vocals and some backing vocals.
The final track, “Where Did I Go”, written by Sandra Marielle is another calm, gentle, sweet ballad. Her diction is perfect. She does her job very well; emotionally connecting to the lyric and making it sound like she is singing directly to the individual listener. That’s an art. Here she sounds a wee bit like Gloria Estefan in tone and phrasing, when Gloria sings the softer ballads. That is meant as a big compliment.
Singing since she was 10, Sandra took a break from music in 2002 until 2008, when she returned to being a professional musician. In 2006, she had a daughter, Isabelle. Sandra Marielle has toured Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Holland, France and further afield, and fronted big bands and groups of many different genres, as well as her solo work. She has often focused on the jazz and blues genres, is multi-lingual and has sung in various languages.
I had not heard of Sandra Marielle (her surname is Hansson) before this EP dropped through my letterbox, sent by a respected music industry veteran in Sweden. I am so glad I have now….Last words to Ms Marielle herself, who says: “Welcome to my music. Every given moment of playing with my fellow musicians, performing and communicating with music is precious to me. If I somehow touch people’s hearts, get you to forget about all your troubles for a while, connect, get you to move to the music, sing along, clap your hands or just sit and listen and contemplate, then my job as an artist is done and I feel fulfilled.
“My goal with music is to reach out to people, touch people’s hearts, express myself, try to make a change and have an impact on people and on society. I always give it all I’ve got in the studio, live on stage, unplugged or with a full band. Welcome into my world of my music.”
She has more than achieved her goals with the 20 minutes of “Six Stories Seven Years” then, and I very much welcome a full album as soon as possible. A real singer with a true gift.
By Simon Redley
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’