Sofia Talvik's Christmas music, and I go way back. I'm always a little late to a party, so it was 2005, I think, when I discovered there were free Christmas songs from independent artists on the Interwebs (the phenomenon probably started around 1999). One of the first I found and downloaded back then was a dance track from Sofia & Sophie, "Xmas On The Dancefloor". I had no idea who Sofia & Sophie were, at the time (Sophie is Sophie Rimheden, btw). The song was offered along with three or four others as what was anticipated to be an annual Christmas music project, but wasn't. It was one year and out for that particular offering.
I began posting about Christmas music at the Imwan Seasonal Sounds forum in 2007. That December, I took great delight in posting about Sofia's holiday single, "Christmas". She looked especially fetching in red, lying in the snow and her songbird voice was in remarkable form on the Indie Folk track. But "Christmas" showed a much deeper side of Sofia than "Xmas On The Dancefloor". "Christmas" was also darker; it's no coincidence that she was wearing red. It still gives me chills and reminds us all that the season is complicated. Joy and despair spin around each other like falling snowflakes in what becomes a shared experience of them both. The cello of Christian Horgren was an especially nice touch on this one.
In 2010, we began, here, at Stubby's. Sofia's annual Christmas single that year was an upbeat and danceable Indie Pop song, "Santa". It was a very catchy track about Christmas without that person you were with the year before in an eighties pop style (reminiscent of Wham's "Last Christmas", actually). Sofia partnered that year with The Body Shop and ECPAT’s world-wide campaign “Stop Sex Trafficking”.
Which made 2012 all the more embarrassing for me. I had just started with what I've referred to here as "family obligations" and was burning the candle at both ends and in the middle, as well. And I.....spelled Sofia.....Sophia. I was mortified when Sofia gently pointed out the error. I still am mortified. I can't believe I did that. Sofia's song, that year, was "One Last Wish For Christmas"--a beautiful Americana tinged Indie Folk song about life-long regret and reflecting on it "in the winter of your years". The remix from Sami Sirviö gives the song an entirely different feel, but its every bit as entrancing.
All of Sofia Talvik's Christmas songs are still available as "name-your-price" downloads on Bandcamp. The cover pictures are all linked up or you can just go to Sofia's Bandcamp Music page and see what all she has. Almost an album's worth, now. She's a remarkable artist.
"Family obligations" was a bit of a euphemism. I've been caring for my mother. She was bedbound most of that time. But I felt it was important that she spend her last months at home rather than in some hospital or nursing facility. I didn't want to get into my personal business here on a Christmas music blog. Still don't. But it feels somewhat appropriate in a post about Sofia's Christmas singles, which have been a big part of my life the past several years. Time passes and people and music and holidays mark the time. Mom passed in August. And that's the last I'll speak of it, here. Except to say that I love her very much, wherever she is now. And it was a blessing to have the time that we had.
More importantly, I really meant to at least mention that Sofia has some Christmas specials in her web shop and her Christmas bundles include her homemade Swedish toffee! Now there's something you're not going to find in your typical American shopping mall.