Channeling a noirish Americana sound similar to fellow countrywomen First Aid Kit, Sweden's Ellen Sundberg delivers her debut album Black Raven. Where Klara and Johanna Söderberg reach for the sky with their winsome Nordic Everly harmonies, Sundberg's music has more in common with the woody, rustic folk rock of early Neil Young. Hailing from the small northern town of Bjärme, she populates her warm, lonesome songs with banjo, harmonica, accordion, and grunged-out guitar tones that evoke wide, earth-toned vistas and scattered pines, much like the image that adorns the album's cover. From the haunting title cut to the powerful "Whisper to the Water" the songs are well crafted and her charming, weary voice belies her young age of 20. It's a strong debut with a dark edge by a young artist with a firm command of her own vision.
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AllMusic Review by Timothy Monger