TVD Live Shots: Eivør and Emily Jane White
at the Fillmore Silver Spring, 7/30

The Fillmore in Silver Spring, Maryland had the privilege of hosting a stop on Faroese vocalist and musician Eivør’s very first North American tour Saturday, bringing a night of Nordic music to the Washington, DC area.

First, a little context for the unfamiliar. The Faroe Islands are a tiny archipelago located halfway between Norway and Iceland and is a part of the Kingdom of Denmark. Known for its isolation and subpolar climate, it’s from this environment that musician and vocalist Eivør Pálsdóttir, who performs professionally simply as Eivør, comes to us. Raised in the village of Syðrugøta (population <500), she performed on television for the first time at age 13 and has since dabbled in jazz, classical, folk, chamber pop, and electronic music, releasing her first album Eivør Pálsdóttir, in 2000.

In the last decade, Eivør has also contributed to the soundtrack of BBC’s The Last Kingdom, her voice has made an appearance in a video game (God of War), and she received the 2021 Nordic Council Music Prize. Eivør’s latest album is Segl (2020). Unlike most of her catalog, her latest release is mostly sung in English.

It was a seated show Saturday night, unusual for the Fillmore, but chairs were filled with fans who not only knew the music but could also sing along in Faroese. I arrived unfamiliar with Eivør’s work and was in the minority that night. There was a woman in full face makeup who never bothered to take her seat, she simply danced in the back of the room all night. Others shouted words of support and threw horns. Eivør seemed genuinely humbled by the support of the crowd, saying she only expected “maybe about 10 people” to show up.

Much of the setlist was made up of English-language songs from her latest album (“Truth,” “Let it Come,” and “This City,” for example), songs that explore themes of love, unity, and homesickness. The Faroese-language songs in the set were stunning and thick with mysticism. “Í Tokuni” in particular, stood out—dark and heavy, it wouldn’t be out of place at a metal show. I loved it all. So while it was a seated performance, no one was in their seats by the end of the show.

Support on this tour is Oakland, California singer-songwriter Emily Jane White. Her latest album is Alluvion, the title of which means “the wash or flow of water against a shore” or “an accession to land by the gradual addition of matter (as by deposit of alluvium) that then belongs to the owner of the land to which it is added.” Released in March, her work explores an unsurprising theme—the common trauma experienced by humankind over the last few years. Not just trauma from the pandemic, but turmoil on the heels of the death of George Floyd. In her roughly 40-minute set White introduced the crowd to her brooding and ethereal music formed out of these heavy and intense times.

Eivør continues her first North American tour through mid-August, wrapping it up in Los Angeles on the 13th before heading back to Europe.


Let It Come
Only Love
Nothing to Fear
Sleep on It
This City
True Love
Í Tokuni

Falling Free

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