«Things You Leave Behind» presents Rebekka Bakken as an extraordinarily mature singer and songwriter. The album title marks both a new beginning and a retrospective and stands for music that experiences its future in the here and now. It is her personal liberation and a general slap in the face of critics and other unconscientious objectors. «The world has changed – and I’m not ready for it,» says Rebekka Bakken.
On Winter Nights Bakken interprets Christmas carols and songs for the wintry season with her powerful and expressive voice which easily encompasses three octaves. Among other songs, she sings Calling All Angels, In The Bleak Midwinter and Silent Night, and also adds a different, a gentle and romantic glow, to Last Christmas by Wham!. Because Rebekka Bakken is not only a singer but a composer, too, she wrote seven of her own songs for Winter Nights, perfectly rounding out the contemplative winter album.
The songs the artist has chosen, both by others and from her own pen, reveal the singer’s passionate yet also unconventional relationship with the holiday season. “This time of year can have so many aspects, it can be both heaven and hell at the same time. I like the Christmas message, the message of newborn awareness. The things I associate with Christmas are full of joy and beauty. But sometimes you also have to make your way through the holiday season in difficult circumstances. Christmas gives more intensity to your life then, too.” I’ve always dreamed of doing a winter album because I adore the winter and composing songs for the holiday season. A never-ending stream of these songs seems to pour out when I delve into this part of my music-making. I’ve been singing Kyrie Eleison for months and I heard my neighbour whistling the melody when I was out in my garden.”
An intensity which Rebekka Bakken consummately turns into personally felt music on Winter Nights. For her arrangements stand apart, do not rely on what has come before, are never excessive. Instead, with almost minimalist instrumentation for piano, guitar, bass and drums, she expresses a perfect sense of ease. This is an organic album produced by pure musicians in a very relaxed mood.