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We believe, Mariam

Exactly one month after she released her debut album ”Blood Donation”, Mariam the Believer performed her first ever official gig outside of Sweden. The location: Klubben, Studentersamfundet.

Text: Anne Elisabeth Thorstensen Photo: fotogjengen.samfundet.no Date: 2013-02-17

”Mariam the Believer” is the solo project of Mariam Wallentin, the lead singer of the acclaimed Swedish band Wildbirds and Peacedrums. Their sound is a mix of minimalistic blues, pop and rock impro, while Wallentin’s solo project can be described as oriental ambience combined with experimental pop and unpolished soul.


Blood Donation

Mariam Wallentin wanted to learn the electric guitar, so she bought a cream white Gibson in New York and started this project. At the same time she started her own label “Repeat Until Death”. The somewhat dark title actually represents that this is what she wants to do until she dies. In her own words, she describes her debut album “Blood Donation”: “It’s about being in the dark, wanting the light. To learn how to give without demanding anything in return. Wanting to challenge the world, and yourself. But really, I probably just want the record to feel like something you’ve dug up from the dark ground.“

Mariam the Believer performed her songs with a unique energy and presence.

The sound

The British newspaper “The Guardian” describes Mariam the Believer as a “startling voice, combining Janis Joplin’s strength and Judy Garland’s vulnerability”. At Klubben, this description perfectly fitted the musical atmosphere that filled the room. For a while it seemed like the attendance would be rather sparse, but as she walked on stage, guitar case in hand, people gathered in front of the stage. She quickly created a powerful mood where the audience seemed mesmerized by her unusual energy. Singing with her whole body, her meaningful lyrics were conveyed through a perfectly balanced sound of drums, keyboards, base and guitar.


The songs

The audience was clearly anticipating Mariam the Believer’s first single “The String of Everything”. With this melodic and stimulating song Wallentin gained the full attention of the audience. The following songs were easy to enjoy, with the same vibrating energy. Towards the end of the concert came a song that captured the audience. ”Invisible giving” was probably the song that made the strongest musical impression. A quick drum beat was flowing through the body, combined with a round, vibrating bass sound and Wallentin’s unique voice. This music was definitely worth discovering.