Swedish songsmith Sofia Talvik's current tour, which she christened "Driving & Dreaming," is appropriately titled.
Despite already spending considerable time performing on these shores, Talvik saw a lot of bright lights and big cities, but not much else. By "Driving & Dreaming," she hoping to get a broader view of the States.
"When you come from Europe and you come to the U.S. to do a tour, you basically play the big cities, like New York or Chicago or L.A., where a lot of stuff is going on all the time," she said. "So I wanted to come here this time and do a grassroots tour, where I cover a lot of the U.S. and cover a lot of the smaller cities as well as the big ones."
Making her way to Valparaiso's Cornucopia Coffee Company on July 27, Talvik, 33, began playing guitar and writing music when she as 18 years old.
Although she had no designs on becoming a full–time performer and songsmith, Tavlik found an audience in the early 00s when a demo of an original composition, "Ghosts," was a hit in her homeland after receiving airplay on a radio show featuring unsigned artists.
"Ghosts" was also included on her 2005 full–length debut of the same name. Three years later, she became the first Swedish female artist to perform at Lollapalooza.
Inspiration–wise, Talvik casts a wide musical net, citing songsmiths from Nick Drake and Neko Case as well as rockers such as the Killers and Kings of Leon amongst her influences.
"I think different parts of different music inspire," she said. "When you record, you may want the drums from the Killers album or the guitars from the Kings of Leon album, or you'll want the strings from the Aimee Mann album. I think you pick little pieces from all different types of albums."
Talvik's recent set, "The Owls are Not What They Seem," was released in January. Unlike some of her past efforts, "Owls" is centered around Tavlik's vocals and acoustic guitar.
"I felt like I was more in my element when I was playing and singing at the same time, and I kind of wanted to do that with the new album," she said. "I just wanted to capture the whole organic live vibe, then add sprinkles of acoustic instruments afterward ... this is really the essence of me, I guess."
Opening for Talvik at Cornucopia is region based jazz guitarist Kyle Douglas.