Real talk: the best way for a new artist to stand out in the slush pile of pitches is to be from Sweden. Anything relating to that stark Scandinavian pop wonderland will always grab music writers’ attention. And so, the latest Swede to latch onto our brains is Naomi Pilgrim. Pilgrim has been kicking around the Swedish music scene for a minute, serving as a backup singer for Lykke Li, and now she’s stepping out on her own with her self-titled debut EP. (Opener “Rainmakers” further quenches our Swedish thirst with a co-writing credit from Jan Kask, who has worked with Say Lou Lou.)
Right away you can hear the mystical, icy stylings of Pilgrim’s home country in her music, but there’s an old-school soul in it all — “Money” brings the “blues” back into R&B, its cash confessions laid overtop a loping guitar riff, while the dub-inflected “No Gun” takes influences from her Barbadian heritage. Pilgrim flirts with several styles in the space of just three tracks, but it never sounds like she’s flailing or searching for an identity, mainly because her earthy vocals make everything cohere.
The Naomi Pilgrim EP is available now on iTunes and Spotify, but you can stream it via Soundcloud below.
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