TWO DANGERS REVIEW- Bernard Zuel Sydney Morning Herald. Australia.
The much- travelled Inga Liljestrom can do, and has done, pretty much anything, from art-rock to dance. Still, an album of sometimes bare folk was probably not why anyone was expecting, though there’s no surprise to find she’s doing it so well. Opening with the traditional ‘Katie Cruel’ (sounding very much the modern Karen Dalton) and nearly ending with Cat Steven’s ‘Trouble’ (sounding much earthier and compelling than the old Cat) might suggest familiar travels, but that’s not how Liljestrom works. Her own songs dominate, with tracks such as ‘Wishing Bone'(‘A whittled girl meets her wooden maker/ Carve a heart out of me sir”) and ‘Bloodstain'(“It’s the kill it’s the bloodstain/ it’s the way he says my name”) early on putting a level of discomfit underneath violin or banjo. And the almost buoyant ‘Bird’, the uneasy string-enhanced ‘Crestfallen’ and the beautifully interior ‘Some Say (I Got Devil) hold you intently.
TWO DANGERS REVIEW- http://www.bmamag.com/articles/cd-reviews/20140825-inga-liljestrom/
You’ve probably already heard Inga Liljestrom’s powerful vocals without even realising it, on TV shows like Rake and Blood Brothers, but that’s just the tip of an incredibly diverse career that’s seen the Sydney-based singer/songwriter collaborate with the likes of Gotye, The Church and Itch-E & Scratch-E over just the last ten years alone.
Three years on from her distinctly darker collection Black Crow Jane, which attracted comparisions to Kate Bush and PJ Harvey, this fourth solo album Two Dangers sees Liljestrom returning home after living in France for the past five years and revisiting the acoustic folk influences of her youth. The thirteen tracks collected here could perhaps be best described as ‘haunted country-noir’, with an impressive cast of guests including The Necks’ Lloyd Swanton and Canberra’s own Mikelangelo being enlisted to add double-bass, eerie strings, banjos, musical saw and backing vocals to a collection that positively drips with goosebump-y atmosphere. While Liljestrom’s remarkable vocals represent a compelling centrepiece on their own, it’s the depth of interplay with the instrumental arrangements that heightens the levels of tension on a yearning cover of traditional folk song ‘Katie Cruel’. Elsewhere ‘Wooden Leg’ sees swooping violins adding a chill-inducing European cinematic edge to Liljestrom’s obsessive-sounding chanteuse vocal. Elsewhere, the duet between Liljestrom’s vocals and Mikelangelo’s ghostly backing harmonies on ‘Take Hold Of My Heart’ offers up a delicate lullaby complete with feathery guitars that carries a darker undercurrent that feels almost like something out of a David Lynch film. It’s not hard to see why The Church describe Liljestrom as one of Australia’s best kept secrets and this could easily be her best album yet.
TWO DANGERS REVIEW- by Lilie Del Sol Indierockmag.com (translated from French).
Inga Liljeström unveils an album tinged with a poignant and fascinating sensitivity. This woman is precious…enjoy her tales with sensitivity and attention. Born with roots from Finland/ Scandinavia, Inga Liljeström is Australian. She discovered her talent through her travels in her country of majestic stretches and especially in the polyglot city of Sydney. She created her first band, Helgrind, which allowed her to explore avant-garde rock with co-songwriter Felicity Fox. Her explorations gradually led to electronics and strings. Nonchalantly, Inga has already released five albums and the latter, Two Dangers, is his sixth album. Since 2009 she lived in Paris, where her album Black Crow Jane, released in 2010, had some success and stood, according to experts, between the energy of a rock PJ Harvey and post-folk tortured Shannon Wright . In Two Dangers, Inga proves that she knows how to show her musical gifts. This girl is a jack of all trades: electro, alternative rock, folk, country, experimental … Today, the artist has chosen to speak through intimate acoustic folk songs- ballads inhabited with wounds still painful. The recordings contain acoustic guitars, banjos, horns, spooky musical saws, violins and sound effects of creaking floor boards and dusty boots. The image of this album for Inga is very specific: “My inspiration: a tattered picture I ripped from a magazine of a woman sittin on her bed smoking a cigarette naked, her long hair wild and disheveled, paint peeling off the walls… I imagined these as the songs she would listen to.” Inga has chosen to dedicate this record to the lonely souls, the broken-hearted, the lonely nights, just like this one woman who is abandoned to its chaos. The songs are a mix of folk to blues, with lavish 50’s bewitchery. Emotions sometimes overwhelm us, with the fascination and melancholy felt listening to this wonderful storyteller. It tears us, this famous tremor in her voice like butterflies that travel furiously in our guts, as does the delicate vocals pierce us. The stories told by Inga are beautifully poignant, it’s even with some regret, that I share it with you. This woman is like a treasure we want to keep forever for ourselves.
TWO DANGERS REVIEW- etatcritique.com (translated from French)
Reading the biography of Inga, passionate singer, reflects a visit to rarest places. Australian-born Inga Liljestrom went through Finland before arriving in the old continent and France in particular. It is therefore not surprising that her songs are more complex than they appear to be. Her idea of rock is clear but is not allowing for easiness. That may be one of the Two Dangers she emphasizes with the title of her second album, where her surname had disappeared. The second danger is that she will be lost herself, adventurer, lover of the American heritage, traveler, still, she manage to make a difference. Her voice visit genres with a great virtuosity and probably benefits from the many visited countries. There is true freedom within the titles of this young woman. It does not scatter. She knows what she wants. This is not her first attempt. She composed music for films and released five albums already. She is not a beginner. Compared to Calamity Jane for her previous album, Inga is frank and fearless. She easily juggles genres. She is comfortable with folk, musical confidence as manly enough rock but decent rock. Inga demonstrated a well quenched character. It’s a real danger to smooth it. She avoids that with a passion extending to every moment. Inga is a sacred character to discover!
TWO DANGERS REVIEW- femina.fr (translated from French)
Inga Lljeström, now called Inga, has lived in Finland, Australia then France in recent years. Her folk or even country tunes, bring an atmosphere reminiscent of Joan Baez, Leonard Cohen and the Cowboy Junkies. It’s soft, poetic, and always quite melancholic, but the captivating voice of this singer full of promises illuminates the tracks with a serene strength. See you in New Orleans or in the far West. And we love it.
TWO DANGERS REVIEW- by Fred Delforge zicazic.com (translated from French)
What appeals primarily with Inga is this incredible blues voice that instantly conveys a blues culture imbued with America, but not only this… Coming from Australia and moving to Paris, her surname Liljeström offers prospects for strong Finnish roots, and if she retains only her first name for a career, it does not deny providing various legacies of her origins, using it with as much spontaneity as she does her experience of studying jazz improvisation or when she composed her first film score… A first album (Elk) was released in 2005, and a second (Black Crow Jane) was released six years later, showing her talent as songwriter/ singer and guitarist. ‘Two Dangers’, her third album, is particularly successful in confirming her talents with everything involved in creating and performing music that is as much about the country folk and folk blues as the blues itself, or rather, ‘the blues’, since Inga walks briskly along the Mississippi to pick up accents sometimes from New Orleans, then closer to Memphis … Violins, cellos, guitars of all kind, percussion, piano and even brass instruments come to dress the vocal to harmonies. “Two Dangers” does not lack diversity, but it is while striving to be both discreet and very present, that it contributes to the charm and the high quality of songs like “Katie cruel, “” Bird, “” Take Hold of My Heart ” and ” Warfaring Ways “, but also to the persuasiveness of a first single “Wishing Bone Hands ” that can not leave the listener indifferent. To consume without moderation!
TWO DANGERS REVIEW- by Guillaume Mazel adecouvrirabsolument.com (translated from French)
I just lived an experience, you know, split personality, bypass, I do not know yet what happened, I was in Sweden with the chaotic melodist ‘Scraps of Tape’, once completed the odyssey I let myself be taken by the hand by an obscure Finnish who confessed these Australian lands and Parisian blood, I went from the beast to the beauty in a soft fall, happy slow dance of suburbs, instruments whispered by skins, flesh, I went from machinery to plant,from oxides to tears, from rages to pain.
Inga is the name of lights that no one knew to survive in the end of our longings, our disliked loves, our childhoods vast beaches, and the voice of our millions of mothers informing us of the misery to come, if the evil, if the evil. Inga laying her hand gently on the rock next to her, inviting us to sit down for a moment at the edge of the world, sometimes so similar to ours, inviting us to some love that wets the valleys of our skins, inviting us has to that perfect landscape, the dream that wakes us, inviting us to waltz quietly on her voice, pure, frail, as dislocated as it is imperial, without bursts, if sometimes the relief of memories stirred, a joy, a question does not really answer however the art of Inga, as emotions can be many on the thread of a refrain, as the light of her voice bathes us in the shadow of sensations, the art of Inga, did I tell you, this way of painting impressionist, from splash of color to splash of color until finding in the whole vision of the places of we, the place of all, this easy-space of melodies, simple sounds, supports an emerging human myth, small shiny notes, whose rays stir, the depths, the grief, these squalors that we keep as a precious necklace, but never show. Inga shows its weaknesses, its defeats, its fine lamentations of a day, or the next, or yesterday.
Inga is simple, leaving the mascara for the pictures, a voice that a body lay on a pedestal, an instrument of meaning, a storyteller we wish to adopt as our own legends, singing her beautiful little life as we whisper I love you, shyly, a slightly fear of a no, a fear of rushing, naive talent, a touch of paint that barely grazed our canvas. So if you want to rest your minds from hardness of metals, take this hand, Swedish, Australian, French, or, more wisely, sit where she wants to show you the world, her delicate world.