Silence Is Wild
Piano-based antecedents and contemporaries such as Carole King, Jerry Lee Lewis, Plush, and Antony and the Johnsons generally feel like appropriate touchstones for discussing the Swedish singer-songwriter's recorded work. Lyrically, however, Hyvönen is in more open waters, as she forges her own stylistic path as a songwriter. "December", for instance, is a simple -- almost banal -- song about abortion that has been utterly stripped of emotion and showcases her distinct talent for political & social ambivalence. On "Pony" she flips the Smog classic "I Break Horses" on its head. Bill Callahan's confidence bristled on the latter as he sang "I break horses / I don't tend to them / I break horses / They seem to come to me / Asking to be broken / They seem to run to me." On Silence Is Wild's "Pony", Hyvönen sings:
The stable is where you learn tobe in charge and not take shitDressed to the occasionleather boots and a stiff black whipI don't even have to use it!I just hold it like this;my pony knows when she sees itthat does she not behaveshe will get to taste it
On Silence is Wild, Hyvönen continues to take an utterly modern approach to classic songwriting forms: blending the confessional with the fictional; mixing wit with a sexuality that shifts from the refined to the raw; all the while using language which dances effortlessly between the timeless and the contemporary, referencing high art and pop culture in a transcendent manner which masterfully puts Hyvönen at the top of a new international class of singer-songwriters.
(SC184 released: 11/04/08)