ON THE SCENE

Sofia Talvik ends American tour at Civic Media Center


Swedish singer/songwriter Sofia Talvik ends a 15-month long U.S. tour on Friday with a performance at the Civic Media Center. (Courtesy of Kirk Stauffer)

Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 8:26 a.m.

Born and raised in Sweden, singer/songwriter Sofia Talvik counts among her influences American-style folk and pop. So for the last 15 months, she’s been taking her music to American people the old-fashioned way: criss-crossing the country in an RV for 250 shows large and small in 37 states.

Facts

Sofia Talvik

What: Swedish singer/songwriter performs in concert presented by Shake Rag Cultural Center Inc.
When: 8 p.m. Friday
Where: Civic Media Center, 433 S. Main St.
Tickets: $10

On Friday, the grand odyssey ends at the Civic Media Center in Gainesville where Talvik will share her solo-acoustic soul in a place not far from where it all began in 2011 — one of her first gigs then was at the Shake Rag Cultural Center in Melrose shortly after the tour started in Orlando.

“This has been like a grass-roots tour, where we’ve just played everywhere,” Talvik says on the phone Sunday, shortly before a performance at the Swedish Embassy in Washington D.C.

“Basically it’s been all about seeing the U.S., all the small cities as well as big cities, and trying to spread my music wherever we go.,” she says. “So it’s been quite difference from all the other tours I’ve done before.”

In earlier visits to the U.S., Talvik played the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago (in 2008), and she’s performed a couple of times at SXSW in Austin, Texas, before deciding to tour the entire country.

Talvik listened to rock ’n’ roll and pop while growing up in Sweden, where she plays with a full band. But at the same time, she gravitated toward singer/songwriters, artists who knew their way around memorable lyrics.

“I’ve always loved folk. I liked Suzanne Vega, Aimie Mann, Neko Case, American artists like that; the singer/songwriter genre,” Talvik says. “And I just realized when I’ve come here to play, this genre is so much bigger here than it is in Sweden, so I’ve always had kind of a bigger audience here.”

Since recording her first album, “Blue Moon,” in Sweden in 2005, Talvik has released others including “Jonestown,” named after the events that occurred in Jonestown, Guyana, in 1978; and “Florida” in 2010, which was inspired by her spending the summer of 2009 in the Sunshine State.

“That kind of got me inspired to do American stuff,” Talvik says. “When you’re in a certain area or certain place, you get inspired by whatever you hear, and their surroundings, and the nature, so it probably developed more toward, the American folk genre, the past two albums.

“But I’ve always listened to singer/songwriters, and it’s always been my genre. I just try to write lyrics and do melodies that are catchy, that you’d kind of remember. That’s just the way it’s always been for me.”

Talvik’s performance on Friday, which is being presented by the Shake Rag Cultural Center at the Civic Media Center, 433 S. Main St., starts at 8 p.m. Admission is $10.

Contact Entertainment Editor Bill Dean at 374-5039 or at bill.dean@gvillesun.com, and follow on Twitter @SceneBillDean.

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