Pembrokeshire musician Jodie Marie made headlines back in 2011 when she was signed to the Decca label. Now 31, with three albums behind her, she has turned a unique winter experience in the Norwegian island of Seiland into her most haunting release to date. 

Jodie Marie was kind enough to answer all of our questions, and send us some amazing photographs of her polar experience... read on!

Did you write all the words and melodies while on the island of Seiland?

Everything you hear on the EP was written and arranged in the cabin on the island. The reason you can hear the piano pedal squeaks is for that reason, I wanted people who were listening to imagine they were in that cabin with me.

Where were the songs recorded?

Apart from the field recording of the reindeers bells - the sound of them eating through the snow and the Sami children and reindeer herders on the mountain top in the background - everything else was re-recorded at StudiOwz, a recording studio my partner, Owain Fleetwood Jenkins and I own together. It’s in a converted chapel at the foot of the Preselis Hills. 

I recorded the songs in the cabin during my stay, but sadly, I was still recovering from having Covid, so my voice wasn’t quite up to scratch. 

Back home, I tried to replicate those cabin recordings in the studio. I wanted to keep everything simple, just like the feeling I had when I was out there. There was no need to overcomplicate anything - just like the calmness of the island.

Jodie Marie hiking
(Gøril Nilsen)

There are some rich choral harmonies on some of the songs. Are all the vocals your own?

All of the vocals on the EP are my own, including backing vocals. I love creating and singing harmonies - it’s literally one of my favourite things to do. 

I wanted to give the music space and create an almost haunting/ethereal edge to the tracks with the backing vocals - this was to create a sound that Seiland island stirred in me, creating music of how it made me feel in the moment. If you close your eyes, you could almost imagine you are there. 

Jodie Marie looking up at the Northern Lights
(Gøril Nilsen)

Your vocal range is increasing. What do you do to keep yourself in good voice?

Thank you! I’m always singing - constantly! I think I annoy everyone around me by singing all the time!

Sadly, I’m not one of those people who do vocal warm ups before and after every gig or recording. I do look after my voice though: lots of water and herbal teas with honey and fresh ginger, and breathing exercises to increase lung capacity and keep my voice feeling supported. If you’re tired or run down, you’ll feel it in your voice straight away. 

With each new song, I try and push my vocals to a new level, or push my range a little.

Did you play the piano yourself?

I play every instrument on the EP - electric guitar, upright piano, grand piano, and all vocals - except for the organ; Owain played that. 

When you bring in another musician, they bring an element to it that you wouldn’t have necessarily done yourself - I probably wouldn’t have voiced the chords the way that he does; his organ playing phrasing is different; he would have made the Leslie speaker rotate faster or slower in different sections of the songs - plus he’s a much better organ player than I am! He co-produced the EP with me; he also engineered and mixed it, then Gwyn Mathias mastered it. 

The photographs on the EP artwork were taken by a wonderful Norwegian photographer, Rino Engal. Other photos and video footage were taken by the talented Gøril Nilsen.

Pembrokeshire musician Jodie Marie recording in the cabin on Seiland
(Rino Engdal)

Did you hear any music from the Sámi that inspired you?

I did actually. I heard and learnt a lot about their traditional singing, which is called a Joik. It’s a type of singing that isn’t known as ‘pretty singing’ like in Western music (personally I thought it was beautiful and very passionate!). It’s almost chant like, where they repeat sounds rather than words. 

A joik is the song ‘of’ something, rather than singing a song ‘about’ something. For example, they would sing the song of the fire (the fire joik), or a wolk joik - and it’s like they’re singing the song of that being/object, rather than describing it with words. 

The idea of a joik inspired the first track on the EP, ‘Seiland’, which is my nod to a joik. I’m definitely not trying to do a joik! But I loved the idea of writing and singing a song ‘of’ the island I was on. Even now, it makes me feel and see the fjord I was living in; the vastness and space and beauty.

Sunrise and reindeer
(Gøril Nilsen)

Polar Night is very sparse in terms of instrumental arrangements but at the same time comes across as warm and intimate - it’s elegant, too, with a halo of cathedral echo. Does this combination reflect your experiences in the Norwegian polar darkness?

I honestly think it does. I wanted it to sound intimate, no need to fill it with production because I wanted the nakedness of it to hold it together - a vulnerability that I certainly felt while I was there living alone for over three weeks. The landscape on Seiland was stunning, it was also pretty extreme when it came to the weather conditions - very cold, snowy and stormy on occasions and incredibly remote, so I tried to create something that was almost cinematic in a way, but on a very, very small and tender scale.

Storm day
(Gøril Nilsen)

Despite its simplicity, perhaps this is music your strongest work to date - would you agree?

It’s hard for me to judge. If you ask any artist, I’m pretty sure they’d say that their latest work is their strongest, because it’s the most fresh and still has new energy surrounding it. I am very proud of these songs that make up the Polar Night EP, but equally proud of my previous work because it brought me to what I’m making and doing now. The thing that this EP gave me was the opportunity to write in any way I wanted - it obviously still sounds like ‘me’, but being on the island writing for, almost, a concept EP let me just write without any brief - what I was feeling during that time. I put no pressure on myself to sound a certain way, I just wanted to capture how I was feeling in such a remote place, alone and what I learnt while above the arctic circle from the wonderful people I met.

POLAR NIGHT - THE RELEASEWith an official release date of May 5, 2023, Polar Night EP will be available on CD, 12” Vinyl and on digital streaming platforms.  

Physical copies are available via the store on, while digital versions are available to buy and download through Jodie Marie’s artist page on, or stream via your favourite streaming platforms. 

You can also keep up-to-date with anything to do with Jodie’s music by signing up to the mailing list on the homepage of her website, or follow Jodie Marie on her social media pages @JodieMarieMusic.

Polar Night EP
(Jodie Marie)