Thomas Denver Jonsson

September 24, 2008 at 8:00 am

Thomas Denver JonssonFor some reason I have entirely missed Thomas Denver Jonsson and his music until recently. And then he has already released his third album “Lake Acts Like an Ocean” (Kite Recordings) and are well on his way with his fourth.

Previous albums included collaborations with artists like Damien Jurado, Rosie Thomas and others. His latest album has received very good reviews in prestigious magazines like Uncut and The Word, but when I search Swedish papers and magazines I find very little about Thomas. A little surprising to me, considering the appreciation he’s receiving in other countries.

When I listen to songs like “the Border” and “Only For Beginners” from the latest record, the first feeling I get is that from an early Neil Young. This seemingly, fragile bright voice that comes so close, with a beautiful sense for melodies and with the roots in American folk music. In other songs I get the vibes from more recent indie music, rawer guitars and partly a different ambience, but still the voice and the melodies that bind it all together.

I’ll be listening to Thomas’ earlier music too after this. If you have heard him before, tell me what you think in the comment area.
On Thomas Denver Jonsson’s homepage you can listen to some songs from his earlier albums (and download), as well as demos, covers and other stuff. Really great when an artist gives that little extra like this, it makes it so much more fun and interesting to visit an artist’s site.

Visit also his Myspace page for more music and downloads.

Here you can listen to two songs from the album “Lake Acts Like an Ocean”:

The Border
One of My Blessings

Video to “The Border”:

Lars Wallin

September 23, 2008 at 8:00 am

Lars WallinEver since I heard “Didjerama” with Jamiroquai the first time, I’ve been a fan to didgeridoo playing. I made som brave attempts to play myself, but I never really managed the circular breathing…

Lars Wallin and his tribe invites you to great didgeridoo based music. With this chewed out eucalyptus tube, you can produce incredibly cool sounds by blowing, talking, shouting and whatever you like to create music. The songs below shows a lot of different techniques.

It’s a wonderful mix of music that you can listen to here; everything from three chord punk rock to back beat reggae.

Lars Wallin also has a very characteristic voice, that sometimes sounds like a mixture of Dylan and Manu Chao (it’s bound to be unique then;-))

Lars has been on tour frequently and visited most parts of the world. He has also played with Chris Bailey.

Listen and download the songs:
Dopper Day
My Safetypin
Tell Me Why

Visit Lars:
Lars Wallin on Myspace

Keep cool,
Jeppe

Karl

September 19, 2008 at 8:00 am

KarlDo you feel your thoughts are gathering speed, inventing more and more stories about the future and the past, slowly building up to anxiety?

Well here’s a remedy that could work:

Find a comfortable armchair, sit down, close your eyes, breathe deeply and listen to “Not Your Child” first, and then “In Your Arms” and why not the entire album “Wash Away the Past” which Karl invites you to download for free.

Karl is sometimes called a Swedish Peter Gabriel, and partly this is how I hear it also, as he sometimes produces the same feelings from his music. Wonderful. But I do feel that there is something else, another kind of closeness in Karl’s music and lyrics that gives a different kind of experience from listening.

One obvious example of this you’ll find in the song below “När jag blev mindre igen” where Karl sings in Swedish. This is a song that’s not part of the album, lyrics by Niklas Aurgrunn and that makes me dive into a feeling as if my entire life passes by in a few moments.
From the album “Wash Away the Past” you’ll also find below his collaboration with singer Sara Dahlgren : “Song to the Frozen People”.

Listen and enjoy:

Not Your Child
In My Arms
Song to the Frozen People (med Sara Dahlgren)
När jag blev mindre igen (text av Niklas Aurgrunn)

Ladda hem “Wash Away the Past” från Last.fm

Karl på Myspace

Armadillo King

September 7, 2008 at 8:00 am

Armadillo KingTo be honest artists like Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Tom Petty normally don’t frequent my speakers, but sometimes they do manage to get me going, especially Dylan. Furthermore it’s easy to see why this line of music is so appealing to many starting up their musical careers – all you need is a guitar and something to share.

The amount of “young men (or women) with guitars” is actually overwhelming when you take a closer look at the swedish demo treasure, as I’ve done during the past few years. And no matter how attractive their initiatives and ambitions may be, it’s all together somewhat watered down to me seeing how few – yes they do exist! – manage to really deliver that personal feeling they’re aiming at (and that obviously is crucial in the singer/songwriter genre). No, it rarely surprises, it all sounds very much alike to this listener.

Three things in which Armadillo King succeeds, and that must work if I’m to be part of it all, are singing, melody and lyrics. Most important about singing is of course the “expression”; it does by no means have to be especifically original or odd but must be personal, can’t be borrowed. If you on top of that, like Armadillo King, is blessed with an infallible sense of pitch as well as an equally – and paradoxically – harsh and smooth voice, you’re not worse off because of it. In my book Armadillo King is a fantastic singer.

As for melody and lyrics they should be symbiotic. Lyrics that doesn’t tell you the obvious floating safely and unstrained in a melody that seem to lack ambitions of originality but that nevertheless carries me, the melody junkie, with it all the way.

Well well, guess it’s a bit ridiculous trying to explain why you should listen to this artist, when the best argument by far is delievered soon as you click on the song of your choice. You’re likely to understand then, the concept of “young man with guitar” at its best.

Selling a Sheep
Million Dollar King
It’s Soon Summertime
Inner Peace
Turn Away
My Raincoat
Still Your Angel

Visit Armadillo King

Armadillo King on Myspace

(translated by Aurgrunn)

Miss Allena

September 5, 2008 at 8:00 am

Miss AllenaAbout voices then. There are singers you admire and who impress you by their sheer power and/or range, and/or technique – the vibrato, that awesome wailing…but whom you never quite manage to embrace because they lack something else, something less easy to define, if it’s not simply enough the feeling I’m fumbling for, it’s as if they know better than most how to do it but never really grasped the why, so to speak (Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Carola, Tommy Körberg, although these examples are only generally valid and are of course based entirely on my own personal listening; the listener not being altogether unimportant in the field of song and music, after all it’s in hers or his ears and head it’s all happening, or not happening if you will…)

Anyway, on the other side we find those singers most voice coaches would regard hopeless, or “storytellers” rather than singers, but who according to their fans are the really stylish ones, because they sing with so much more than diaphragm and lungs and vocal chords, artists that in an instant can lose themselves in the words and almost mystically make them live. No matter where they went the night before they always instinctively know why they’re singing and therefore can’t ever fail (Dylan, Björk, Lundell, Hellström; well yes I know they too stumble every now and then but allow me some generalization, footnotes are so dull).

Then a few rare voices just are all nice and natural, voices to somehow lean back and heal in, more about hunches and identification than power or impression; it’s not as if you know them – you are idiotically sure that you do.

There it is, I believe I’ve managed to nail some small part of the fascination I’ve felt ever since I first heard Miss Allena a few years back. We’ve never met but she’s my best friend and my sister. Welcome to the family!

Here are two of my favourites, one in that inimitable missallenish swenglish, and one with lyrics by Nobel Prize winner Pärre Lagerkvist, who in my mind finds his final interpreter here. And don’t forget now to enjoy those ingenious minimalistic arrangements as well!

Var är den djupa glädje som jag söker?
By the Water

Visit Miss Allena and listen some more:

Miss Allena on Myspace

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