Hello Saferide Skewers Patriarchy Ahead of First Album Since 2008

Marc Hogan

By Marc Hogan

Lead News Writer
on 08.08.14 in News

Annika Norlin is a Swedish singer/songwriter whose witty, wordy lyricism could fit somewhere in a taste Venn diagram between Courtney Barnett, Allo Darlin’ and Jens Lekman. She has released two endearing English-language albums as Hello Saferide, 2005′s Introducing… and 2008′s More Modern Short Stories From Hello Saferide. She’s also behind two irrepressibly tuneful Swedish-language LPs as Säkert!, 2007′s Säkert! (the byline on that link is a Veronica Mars reference; I actually wrote the review) and 2010′s Facit (she issued an English version of the latter in 2011, cheekily titled På Engelska, which is worth seeking out). And now Hello Saferide is finally back after a six-year break.

Norlin’s third Hello Saferide album, titled The Fox, the Hunter and Hello Saferide, is due out on September 3 via longtime label home Razzia Records. Her songs often work with the narrative directness of country music transposed to indie pop — Taylor Swift’s Red track “Stay Stay Stay” reminds me of her every time — and happily that’s the case again on the new record’s bounding, synth-charged slow-builder “I Was Jesus.” The video opens with a hand-markered cassette worthy of Guardians of the Galaxy, but mostly focuses on Norlin’s face and, especially, her words: She’s Jesus, she’s Gandhi, she’s Martin Luther King, only now this time they’ve come to Earth as women, with markedly different outcomes. As choir-like “ah-ah-ah” backing vocals and handclaps rise at the end, Norlin tells God she’s never leaving Heaven again, and She gives a characteristically cryptic response.