Henrik Levy is one of the most intriguing artists we’ve encountered yet in the fertile music climate of Sweden. Currently based in Stockholm, Henrik was born and raised in a small town in the south of Sweden.
Inspiration for this singer songwriter must be a rare combination of a rural upbringing, a year of studies in a small Texas town (1997) and Levy’s current residence in cosmopolitan Stockholm. All three influences are present in the new album “A Letter From A City Man”, the first album of Henrik Levy available outside Scandinavia.
The debut recording by Henrik occurred in 1998 with the CD-EP “Among Weeds”. Selling out all 1,000 copies, he then recorded a full length entitled “Along The Way” (Shawnee Records – 2000) and such release became the springboard for live performances on Swedish national television and impressive radio play. Several reviews of the album labeled it “one of the best records of the year”.
The current album was recorded at the request of San Francisco based Zip Records, and the circumstances surrounding the recording were portentous for success. Invited to Amsterdam, Holland by a producer friend who was premiering the Nick Drake film “A Skin Too Few”, Henrik befriended the string arranger for most of Nick Drake’s recordings (Robert Kirby). Kirby took on the same role for several songs on Henrik’s new album, and “A Letter From A City Man” was produced in 2003/2004.
The album is an amalgam of bluesy pop, soulful and melancholic melodies, capturing a variety of characters living an urban life. As much Elvis Costello as Nick Drake, Henrik delivers smooth songs which alternate between himself and guitar only, and tracks with a full band and searing backup vocals. There is a “live feeling” to “A Letter From A City Man” due to the fact that such recording was done in that very mode. The music has an honesty and ambience lacking in many of the Swedish exports of this decade.
American audiences can emphasize with the subject of Henrik’s songs, but it is the beautiful and haunting melodies which seduce with their simplicity and grace.
Henrik Levy will be touring on the east coast and west coasts of the U.S. In November 2004 in support of “A Letter From A City Man”. The single “Cage-bird Song” will be serviced to appropriate radio (college and public stations) and media focus will be Americana, roots, pop, blues and folk publications.