Text: Arjen Bloom
Photos: Ivana van der Zant

On a sunny Wednesday afternoon, work is being done on the street at the Westerkade in Utrecht. New stones must make the quay safely passable for the foreseeable future, which is accompanied by the necessary noise from outside. Despite that, Siv Jakobsen enjoys a cappuccino with oat milk and banana bread on the same Westerkade, while looking out over the water of the Vaartsche Rijn. The Norwegian recently released her EP ‘Gartering, pt. 1’ with folk pop songs that coincide perfectly with the melancholic autumn. CHAOS Music Magazine met her to find out everything about the EP that is the first part of the album ‘Gartering’, which will be released on January 20, 2023.

I hear a lot of natural elements on the EP, such as: birds singing, the wind rustling in the treetops. How is your music influenced by nature?
I grew up in Asker, west of Oslo. There is a lot of wooded area in the area. I still like coming here because it still inspires me enormously. In addition, I couldn’t avoid the corona crisis either, I’ve been spending a lot of time in Oslo lately. I felt I had to do something that gave me relaxation. At my apartment I have created a small garden to grow vegetables and fruit. It gives so much peace to be busy in a vegetable garden and you also get a lot in return. In this way, nature has finally conquered its place in my music.

What did you learn?
In a word: patience. But also: presence. Everyone who has a vegetable garden is confronted with reality. If you don’t maintain the crops, they die. When you do maintain them, you need a lot of patience before you can harvest.

The folky song ‘Romain’s Place’ is undoubtedly about a memorable place. What is the story of this?
This song is folky indeed, somewhat melancholic. Actually, it’s about looking out the window, but above all about being a ghost of your own past. A union between good and bad. I wonder where those memories are stored and how you can recreate a memory with certain triggers.

The line of your previous album A Temporary Soothing has continued, despite the fact that you have a different producer. Conscious choice?
The line from the previous album can definitely be heard on Gartering. Initially, it was the plan to go back into the studio with Chris Bond, but the corona crisis also had an influence on this plan. ‘Gartering’ was created with a small group of musicians and Norwegian producers Hans Olav Settem and Simen Mitlid. They all did a top job. I am very grateful for that!

To promote the album you have a unique merchandise item: coffee!
That’s right, a good friend has a cafĂ© in the east of Oslo and that’s where it’s made. The coffee tastes smooth, just good. People could order it through my website and in Oslo I also delivered the coffee to their home. A new edition will be burned soon.

In addition, Gartering will be released in two parts. Why was this chosen?
Cut the album in two parts because September is the ideal month to produce, to release music to the public. The tour is planned, the show can begin. The other part will follow January 20, 2023 with the songs: ‘Tangerine’, ‘Blue’, ‘Sun’, ‘Moon’, ‘Stars’, ‘Gardening’, ‘Gardening (Reprise)’ and ‘The Bay’. With that, the album is complete.

As you say, the tour is coming up. You kick off in Utrecht.
I like coming to the Netherlands and it fits in well with the other play dates in Europe. On September 27 I will be in Tivoli with my band. Many dates will follow in the UK, February 15 in Paris, February 16 in Brussels and February 18 in Amsterdam. After that, some performances in Germany will follow.

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