Many great female musicians have hailed from Sweden from the women of ABBA to Lykke Li (also Ikea, and meatballs). Another female that can be added to Sweden’s illustrious list is named Mariam the Believer, which is a nice change from someones name followed by an object or animal. Mariam, one half of the Swedish eccentric alt-pop duo Wildbirds & Peacedrums alongside her husband Andreas Werliin, has decided to venture in to the music industry as a solo act with the eponymous track from her first solo album Blood Donation.There is something mesmerising and alluring about Mariam, her pale complexion and herbeauty spot just above her lips as she sways, guitar in arm with her eyes closed as though she is singing to her lover.
It is strange hearing Mariamʼs voice without being coated in reverb, you hear every part of her raw vocals from her slightly androgynous tone and that dark and heavy lower range, to her improvised “nanana” moment with the similar passion of Turkish folk singer Selda Bagcan.
The simplicity of the guitar really allows Mariam to improvise with her vocals with the use of jazz like phrasing and her bellowing belting register. Mariam connotates blood with honey as her voice trembles as she “pours honey” in to her lovers mouth to make him “come alive” as though he is some sort of monster. Mariam sings that she is not around just to please him, but in this she says she would like, if not has to give him something,as previously stated as though she is bringing him back to life, or further more adding rejuvenation into the relationship. Much like Wildbirds & Peacedrums, the sound boils up emotion to a seemingly eventual conclusion, only to cool back down and carries on throughout, though in this acoustic piece of beauty it is demonstrated by her bold and personality filled vocals. Though completely different in sound from what Wildbirds & Peacedrums had done in the past being more bombastic, Mariam the Believer seems more eery and broody, and within this stunning and simple acoustic piece Mariam has made a believer out of me.