Listening to Karin Fransson’s four-track EP Commuter Diaries, Vol. 1, it is unclear if the title reflects where she drew the inspiration for the songs or if they should provide the soundtrack for your journey to work. Regardless, this is music you will want to embrace during and after this global pandemic.
The Swedish singer has always had a fascinating ability to sound like she is in the room with you. Whether from headphones or floor speakers, her voice, elegant and calming feels like a personal conversation. Or an exclusive private performance.
More aligned to Karen Carpenter than Aretha Franklin, Karin is the epitome of a female singer-songwriter. Genre-free, the songstress is armed with a guitar and folk-based songs of lyrical finesse and poetic quality.
The EP opener, Darling has the nostalgic touch of a ’30s black and white film – heady in romance, with a sense of Parisian love, red wine and candlelight.
A personal favourite, and not just for its name is – Sister Soul. Karin’s vocals are gentle, soulful and delightfully warming to create effortless ease of listening.
Shallow Water is Karin’s masterpiece. The guitar-based rhythm and lyrical construction is a lesson in songwriting. It’s an impressive song of beauty and pain with Karin caressing her vocals around the lyrics.
I like how the water consumes me / I think it’s you / assume it’s you /
The ethereal, dreamy and jazzy-single Slowly lovingly eases out the EP.
Where so much music is electronic layered, mixed, sampled and twisted, Karin is refreshingly refined. Her voice is wonderfully soothing, like drinking spring water on a summer day.
Regular visitors to any coffee house may have heard Karin’s previous album ‘Private Behaviour‘, as I have in London and Stockholm. Expect this EP to be additionally included in their playlists. However, Commuter Diaries, Vol. 1 calming ambience goes beyond background listening. Every home and journey would sound better with Karin in it.
Commuter Diaries calming ambience goes beyond background listening. Every home and journey would sound better with Karin Fransson in it.