Last year the rock and metal trio Stone Carpet started their project about releasing four EP:s during a year. Each EP contains three tracks and has it’s own character and theme. I told you about the first two parts in August, and now all parts have been published, which all together form the album”Dispositio”, downloadable from their site. Listen here below to the song “Suburban Circus” from the EP “Peroratio”.
This Is Head released their second album “The Album ID” in March. It’s great fun to listen through this album, an album free from conventions and predictability. I haven’t listened that much to their acclaimed debut album from 2010, so I won’t go into any comparisons. It’s in any case hard to define their music more than giving some hints like for example U2 meets David Bowie meets post rock meets indie experimentation; it varies from song to song and a great deal of my joy with the album is the journey in itself, to become surprised, notice details, and enjoy smooth melodies and cool turnarounds. Here’s a few tracks to taste, but I recommend listening from start to finish.
Signs from Göteborg released their debut EP, “Not a Sound”, last year. Alternative rock with a stroke of american radio rock is some kind of starting point for their music. The sound is grand and gives them a place on the arena rather than in the club and overall I get a bright and positive vibe from the ambience in the songs. Listen to the starting track from the EP, “Sticks and Stones”, here below.
Under the category “singles that preceeds soon upcoming album” we find Anna Roxenholt’s New Found Land with the song “Mirror”. Since a couple of days the song is also available on an EP with the same name, containg “Mirror”, three remixes and the song “Let Go”. The new album will be out on the first of March.
Soundmeds, hailing fromLinköping, released their debut EP “Hospital” last year. On it they have created their own special brew of alternative and progressive rock, psychadelia, lush guitars and a somewhat suggestive ambience. I can’t find any direct comparisons with other artists as I join their flow when they pass from psychadelia vibes to heavier rock to grand crescendon in songs that are not predictable. And they do it skilfully. Listen below to a couple of songs.
It’s a small room at the foot of the Maria hill in Stockholm, it’s night and it’s late fall or much too early winter one of those grim years in the beginning or towards the middle of the nineties before the skinheads on the quay across the water rise to go buy some suits on their way to parliament and the trains that shoot out of the granite massif of Södermalm rattles the tripple window panes and the orange light from the bridge rolls its unbearableness over the woundy wallpaper, over the beautiful blue-striped Venice map pinned to it and over the huge framed black-and-white portrait of king Gustaf V that I brought home from a second hand shop on Götgatan in an attempt to be funny and the tiny television set is flickering of the schemes and intrigues in a womens prison somewhere way down under in another world that can’t be abided either and I suppose there’s a humming from the ventilation drums behind the thin plaster bords as usual but I keep my eyes shut, pressing the earphones tighter around my ears, repeating, over and over – naked and escaped, shivering and desperate, alone with only fragments of dream, splinters of the not even very old visions, and what possibly may be reassembled.
”Self sufficience please…get to work…you’re on your own…and if you complain once more, you’ll meet an army of me!”
That comfortably confused perspective, you could actually take it in, take it to heart; it worked. The little portable player revolving and buzzing on top of my pale and sunken and alarmingly rumbling stomach and ”Post”, my second cd (the first of course being ”Debut”), the stubbornness of those songs, the marching chaos, the contemplative noice! An army of me, it was hardly my state of mind after a long and winding divorce but all the more necessary this music and the force of it, the nourishment and the inspiration. (And I wasn’t exactly alone in this experience: ten years later a record was released with some twenty remixes of that particular incantation.)
A smile askew in the night, the memory of actually writing to my wife a couple of years earlier (going into that prolonged farewell) that I had lost my heart to an islandic singer but that I was confident the two of them would be able to get along just fine, and of her indignant answer that she had no intentions whatsoever getting entangled in triangular drama.
That I’ve been there, standing in that window with bare feet glued to the floor boards, gazing down the alley where two boozers were taking turns kicking eachother in the blockhead. And that she stood next to me, the girl from Reykjavik, the daughter of the union leader and the activist, whispering and screaming of possible continuations with something stifled and just controlled in her voice that took me apart and put me together again as effectively every time, all night, all of the fall.
”I miss you, but I haven’t met you yet…uncertainty excites me…in a heart full of dust lives a creature called lust…as much as I definately enjoy solitude…possibly maybe, probably love…”
About the perpetually new-born inconceivableness that is Björk one might of course state and poetize until the last of the Vatnajökull glacier oozes away and condensate above the black lava expanses, but enough is to be found elsewhere, googling…
As for me I lost close contact after ”Homogenic” 1997, one has ones eras and epochs, and I guess I just wanted to grab the opportunity to remember and celebrate that one sweet and nasty time together. And so I have.
PS. The influence of Björk over my own music-making is hard to pin-point, but it’s a given that everything went easier and more enjoyable after Björk. If she took the liberty to do whatever she felt like without looking around, why wouldn’t I…
A Swedish artist to give some extra attention
Got to know Karl Ove Blomqvist and his amazing voice on the now sadly deceased demo site Allears some six years ago. He is normally heard in english but I was lucky enough to have two poems set to music and recorded by this great singer and musician. One of them being this little…anthem.
It’s already a few years since I last recorded something, whatever the reasons may be. Time, space. The books, obviously, and the children and the bread that’s got to be won. And of the songs put in The Lumber-Room Studio in Jordbro way back when (2008?) I pick this one, maybe because I don’t entirely or even half-way understand it yet (although I divine quite a lot). ”Saligheten” (”The Blessedness”) wrote itself under my bewildered supervision the night after attending a concert with Anders F Rönnblom at Community Hall in Handen (guess it took some fifteen minutes), and as I remember it was recorded in somewhat the same manner the morning after. That’s the way to do it.
Behind the somewhat odd band name Ass & The Frenchmen we find 6 young men from Tranås and Gränna in the north of Småland. The seed to the band was sown in 2005 and after a long break they started up again in 2009, recording songs and uploading them on the net. Last year they released the album “One Night In Paris”, containing songs from the start in 2005 up until five years later, and earlier this year the album “Parent Approved Substitute” was launched.
They write that the main ingredients of the band is their common love for slightly weird things and obscure behaviour, mixed with foreign folksongs and late nights, which doesn’t come as a surprise after having listened to their album. The most obvious folk influence is the balkan music, and they also describe their music, rather spot-on I’d say, as a blend of gypsy music, blues and grunge influenced by Tom Waits, 16 Horsepower and Marilyn Manson. It feels like Tom Waits’ shadow looms behind most of the tracks, but suddenly you find yourself in a darker Manson-like atmosphere, realizing that the jump is not long at all. The vocals are mixed far back together with the rest of the band, a little too much I think if they want to really catch the listener, but maybe it’s their way of stating that they first of all are a live band, which you can get a taste of on the live album they released last year. Listen to two songs from “Parent Approved Substitute”:
Here’s an interesting new trio from Malmö, No Favours, that released the single “Hands & Hearts” a couple of weeks ago. It’s also one of the songs from the debut album, which will be released now in December. Nicely rough, garage-punkish with vibes of Sonic Youth-rock and shoegaze. There are also a couple of earlier songs to listen to on their Bandcamp page.
Mattis Mallinen started My Heart Is a Metronome as a solo project, as a reult of “too much side-material after x number of years in various bands”. It all ended up in a trio, though, as Gustaf Simonsson and Felix Carlsten joined the project later on. The EP “Sketches” was recorded in February in an old cottage in Hälsingland, in the middle of the hard Winter and deep snow, refreshing themselves with kaffekask (Swedish coffee-drink with strong additives) and red wine.
The EP was released seven months later, containing 5 great songs, acoustic with a vibe of American alternative rock and some folk, and with Mattis strong vocals in the front. Have a taste of the EP with the song “Remnants”:
Victoria Moralez is a new acquaintance for me. She has released the albums “Days and Seasons” and “Translucent” before and as a build-up for the next album she has released two EP:s, the latest one the four-track EP “Game of Fear”.
She moves effortlessly between styles from song to song and mixes influences within the songs, and it’s hard to catch her with a few words. The EP has a retro feeling with seventies-guitars, soul and funk, which she blends with jazz vibes and a sensation of what you could call world music. The last mentioned is especially obvious in the last song “Divide Me In Two”, a spoken word-song accompanied with a banjo in a language I can’t understand. Multifaceted, personal, interesting and if you add the earlier R’nB-fragrant EP “For Eternity” I can imagine that the upcoming album will show us more hues of Victoria.
Meadowmusic presents new Swedish music from many corners and edges. Listen, read, watch and download mp3 files. All songs you find here on this page have been approved for publication by the the artists.