On her captivating new single, “Cry If I Want To,” Norwegian singer-songwriter Malin Pettersen collaborates with recording artist Bergljot Bjella.
Malin Pettersen went from an artist known only by the cognoscenti in Norway to international recognition with the release of her EP, Alonesome, in 2019, and her follow-up 2020 long player, Wildhorse, resulting in features in elite publications.
The attention resulted in a Spellemann award, an appearance on Lindmo, and the role of an expert judge in Stjernekamp.
Renowned for her sonic innovation, Pettersen’s sound merges elements of retro R&B and pop, jazz, country, and folk music into luxurious compositions drenched in building, exploring, and transforming textured layers.
The lyrics of “Cry If I Want To” reveal the authentic vulnerability that comes from nourishing your emotions, and disregarding the stigma surrounding tears. Thus, reminding us of our humanity and emotional core.
“They say that you gotta try to be strong, I know / But how can you hold on when it won’t let you go / I decided I would cry if I want to.”
Opening on soft percussion, “Cry If I Want To” flows into a low-slung, tender acoustic guitar, followed by the entry of Pettersen’s delicately intimate voice, imbuing the lyrics with sensitive flavors. As the tune takes on a resonant rhythm, the harmonics expand, adding gentle layers of sighing surfaces.
In the second verse, Bergljot Bjella’s voice blends with Pettersen’s, enhancing the song with lush harmonies and melded melodicism.
A sparkling piano presages a deliciously indulgent breakdown, followed by a glorious suffusion of the two vocalists on the outro.
Highlighted by the crème de la crème and oh-so-enchanting voice of Malin Pettersen, “Cry If I Want To” is at once charming and opulent.