BIOGRAPHY

"I don’t want my music to ever feel too safe"

When working a new song, Eivør often envisions the dramatic landscape of her Nordic homeland, a remote archipelago known as the Faroe Islands.

“It can be very harsh and very gentle at the same time, and when I sing I see that wildness and softness blended together,” says Eivør. “I think it helps me to create music with a lot of contrast, which is important to me—I don’t want my music to ever feel too safe.”

Now based in Copenhagen, Eivør brings that stark contrast to a darkly textured yet brightly melodic sound centered on her captivating vocals. While her origins lie in Faroese folk singing, Eivør’s most recent output reveals her fascination with the infinite possibilities of electronic music. Along with earning comparisons to Kate Bush in the pages of MOJO, Eivør’s otherworldly ingenuity has led to her role in co-composing the soundtrack to the BBC/Netflix flagship series The Last Kingdom.

Originally released in 2015—with an English-translated version arriving last year—Eivør’s latest album Slør embodies her sonic sensibilities in tracks like “Trøllabundin”: a haunting piece of alt-pop built on her shapeshifting vocal work and hypnotic hand-drum rhythms.

“This song started off as an a cappella improvisation in a dark hallway on a lonely night,” says Eivør. “It’s about being under the spell of music. When I play it today, I feel like I’m playing some kind of shaman techno music, even though there’s only my voice and my drum.”

Growing up on that island in the midst of the North Atlantic, Eivør first discovered the force and nuance of her voice by singing traditional Faroese folk songs with her family. Soon after learning to play guitar from her mom at age 10, she started writing her own material. “One of the first artists who really blew me away in terms of songwriting was Leonard Cohen,” Eivør recalls. “My friend’s parents had this big collection of his albums, and I’d go to see her and we would listen to his records all day long. There was something about him I just felt very haunted by, mostly in his storytelling.”

At age 16 Eivør made her first album, and spent the coming years playing folk festivals across Scandinavia. Although she also delved into genres like jazz and classical, her passion for experimentation eventually drew her to the world of electronic production. “I was trying to break out of this box I’d built around myself, creatively speaking,” she says. “I think as you dig deeper into whatever you’re trying to create, you sometimes come to a crossroads where you need to make some decisions that might take everything in a completely new direction.”

As part of her musical transformation, Eivør began to work more independently and brought a new degree of self-possession to her artistry. Through her sonic exploration, Eivør found herself creating more beat-driven tracks, such as the intensely charged and beautifully ominous “Salt” (also featured on Slør). Not only inspired by trip-hop pioneers like Massive Attack, Eivør’s efforts in beat-making also mine influence from such unlikely sources as Inuit throat singing. “I started coming up with ideas for beats by playing around with a combination of throat singing and beatboxing, and then building everything from there,” she points out.

While her songs often unfold with a certain melancholy (an effect she attributes to “the place I come from, and the sound of heavy waves crashing”), Eivør’s music also holds a mesmerizing power that’s nothing short of transportive. That power is especially evident in her stage show, as seen on her sold-out debut UK tour in 2017. “The live show is my thing,” Eivør says. “The songs truly come alive to me when I can reflect them back to an audience.”

Now working on her next album, Eivør remains focused on making music that’s uncompromising in emotion, and that ultimately connects on a visceral level. “I love looking out into my audience and seeing hipsters and grandmothers and goth kids and metal freaks, with no walls between us,” Eivør says. “I think that happens because I’m not trying to create for any particular crowd. I’m just trying to make the music that I’m yearning to hear myself—something that for me goes straight to the core of what it feels like to be a human in this world.”

AWARDS & FACTS

AWARDS

FAROE ISLANDS
Faroese Music Awards 2016
BEST FEMALE SINGER(Open Category) – WINNER
ALBUM OF THE YEAR (Open Category) – WINNER (At the Heart of a Selkie)
Faroese Music Awards 2015
BEST FEMALE SINGER – WINNER
ALBUM OF THE YEAR – WINNER (SLØR)
BEST PRODUCTION – WINNER (SLØR/Tróndur Bogason)
BEST SOLO ARTIST – WINNER
BEST ALBUM ARTWORK – WINNER (SLØR & BRIDGES by Heidi Andreassen)
Faroese Music Awards 2012
BEST FEMALE SINGER – WINNER
ALBUM OF THE YEAR – WINNER
BEST SOLO ARTIST – WINNER
SONG OF THE YEAR (RAIN) – Nominee
Faroese Music Awards 2011
BEST FEMALE SINGER – Nominee
Faroese Music Awards 2010
BEST FEMALE SINGER – nominee
ALBUM OF THE YEAR – nominee
Faroese Music Awards 2009
BEST FEMALE SINGER – WINNER
Faroese Music Awards 2008
BEST FEMALE SINGER – nominee
The National Faroese Radio 
Honorary Prize 2007
MUSIC PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR – nominee
Faroese Music Awards 2007
BEST FEMALE SINGER – WINNER
Faroese Music Awards 2006
BEST FEMALE SINGER – WINNER
The National Faroese Radio 
Honorary Prize 2006
MUSIC PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR – WINNER
Newspaper Dimmalaetting 
honorary award 2005
PERSON OF THE YEAR – WINNER
Faroese Music Awards 2004
BEST FEMALE SINGER – WINNER
Prix Foroyar 
(Faroese National Battle of the Bands)
BEST ROCKBAND (CLICKHAZE) 2001 – WINNER
Arsins Songrodd, Faroes, 1997 (14 years old)
SINGER OF THE YEAR – WINNER

ICELAND
Icelandic Music Awards 2012
BEST FEMALE SINGER OF THE YEAR – Nominee
Icelandic Music Awards 2008
BEST FEMALE SINGER OF THE YEAR – nominee
Icelandic Theatre Awards 2005
BEST MUSIC SCORE (COMPOSER AND PERFORMER) – WINNER
Icelandic Music Awards 2005
BEST FEMALE SINGER OF THE YEAR – nominee
BEST POP ALBUM OF THE YEAR – nominee
Icelandic Music Awards 2003
BEST FEMALE SINGER – WINNER
BEST PERFORMER – WINNER

DENMARK
DJBFA HONORARY PRIZE 2013
Danish Music Awards Folk 2008
BEST ALBUM OF THE YEAR (for “Human Child”) – nominee
BEST CONTEMPORARY ARTIST OF THE YEAR – nominee
BEST FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR – nominee
BEST SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR – nominee
BEST COMPOSER OF THE YEAR – nominee
Danish Music Awards Folk 2006
BEST ALBUM OF THE YEAR – WINNER
BEST VOCALIST OF THE YEAR – WINNER
BEST CONTEMPORARY ARTIST OF THE YEAR – nominee
BEST BALLAD ALBUM OF THE YEAR – nominee
BEST SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR – nominee
BEST FOLK COMPOSER OF THE YEAR – nominee

FACTS

At an age of 13 she gave her first performance on Faroese television and won a national song contest in the same year.

In 1999, when Eivør was 15, she quit school and started performing professionally with rock band Clickhaze and jazz quartet Ivory. When she was not touring or practicing with either of those bands she could usually be found singing with the old purveyors of traditional styles, trying to learn all the melodies, rhymes and stories.

In 2000 her first album ”Eivør Palsdottir” was released: a mixture of traditional Faroese ballads and new songs written by Eivør and her band, and performed with a folky and jazzy feel.

In 2001 Eivør and her other band ”Clickhaze” won the national Faroese band contest ”Prix Foroyar”.

In 2002, Eivør left the Faroes in favor of Reykjavík, Iceland to study singing (classical and jazz). At that time she also joined ethno/world/jazz group Yggdrasil, lead by composer and music guru behind the Faroese TUTL label Kristian Blak. She released an album with the group later that year.

2002 also saw the release of a rock album with Clickhaze and more touring with the band in the Faroes, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Greenland.

2003 was the year of her second solo album. “Krakan”, which won the nomination for an Icelandic Music Award in three categories. Eivor was awarded Best Singer and Best Performer in Iceland, 2003.

In 2004 Eivør performed concerts with the Faroese Symphony Orchestra and sang solo in Kristian Blak’s 2004 opera, “Firra”.

The same year she recorded her third solo album together with award winning Canadian producer Bill Bourne.

In 2005, the world famous Danish Radio Big Band released its 40th anniversary album.
All the titles on the album are written and sung by Eivør. 2005 was also the year where Eivor composed and performed the music for the theatre play “Ulfhamssaga”, for which she was awarded ”Best Music Score, 2005” in Iceland.

In 2006 Eivør moved to Copenhagen and instantly became a darling of the local folk scene – winning six Danish Music Award Folk nominations (bringing home two of them) and grants from several foundations in the country.

In 2007 Eivør released her 5th solo album ”Human Child,” recorded and produced in Ireland by legendary producer Donal Lunny. The album is released in both Faroese and English. At one point Eivør had two entries (Faroese and English versions of the same album) in the Top Five charts in both the Faroes and in Iceland.

In 2008 Eivør is based in hometown Gota in the Faroes but touring all around the world.

2009 Eivør is working on her new album Larva and is touring in Scandinavia, Canada & Japan.

2010 Eivør gets a worldwide record deal with Copenhagen Records for the album Larva.

In 2012 Eivør releases the wistful album Room which showcases her unique brand of folktronica with art pop influences. The album is produced by Tróndur Bogason and recorded at Studio Bloch in Tórshavn, Faroe Islands.

In 2015 Eivør releases not one but two albums – the bright and longing Bridges and the raw and reflective Slør. Bridges showcases Eivør’s hybrid of folk and electronics while Slør is her most beat oriented effort to date without completely forgoing the folk sensibilities of recent efforts. The albums are produced by Tróndur Bogason with beat production by Høgni Lisberg and are recorded at Studio Bloch in Tórshavn, Faroe Islands.