Monogatari is a band created by Sebastian Ungh. With an open mind for what could be contained in music, he started writing and recording songs in 2007 with the help of instruments from all over the world; old and new, toys and real instruments joined together in the songs and was collected in the debut album “It May Have Seemed Like a Sign of Hope That the Birds Followed Them Out Into the Vastness of the Open Sea”.
A live line-up was formed, which after several changes ended up in a septet that performs using a lot of instruments like banjo, charango, accordion, guitars, drums, bouzouki, violin, ukulele, toy piano, chimes, stylophone, harmonica and percussion in various forms. A few weeks ago the new album “One Step Forward and Two Steps Back?” was released, which is the first one in an album trilogy, to be launched during this year. The records will each have it’s own direction, with this first one having an acoustic, peaceful vibe with a lot of guitars and vaious string instruments. It’s rather naked, with folk-influences from many places and sometimes with a fairytale-ambience to it. Listen to a taste from the album here below.
Jackson Kelley is an american musician from Utah, whose instrumental project Einstein In a Patent Office was picked up by the Swedish label Mareld Records, to be released from here in Sweden. In March he released the EP “Supernova Sounds” from which you can listen to the track “Nadir” here below. It’s an imaginative, instrumental music, downtempo, where he plays with large spaces and various ambiences and styles.
There’s a pleasant flashback in the sound gallery with analogue pads and string sounds that remind me of Vangelis, while a lot of other sounds and beats draw me away from a pure retro vibe. In “Nadir”, here below, he lets jazz-soft guitar figures guide us through the track’s many facets, with some passages that could’ve been part of a progressive rock song. Enjoyable and interesting music that works both in the background as well as something to indulge yourself in for a while.
A. S. Swanski is now working with a new music project he calls “Deckare”. Each month he releases one or two songs inspired by Swedish crime novels, where he so far has put music to books like “Isprinsessan” (“The Ice Princess”) by Camilla Läckberg and Millennium by Stieg Larsson. It’s not too far from his latest album “Electro Noir”, which I wrote about then, where one of the songs even was a reference to a crime novel he had written himself. I think his own description of the music fits rather well here: “between cinematic krautrock and disturbing synth pop”.
Here’s another production from Dream Curtain, aka William Hamparsomian. “Glowing” is the name of the song, a song that follows in the tracks of the predecessors with it’s dreamy experimental electronica, maybe this time a little more changing with more surprises around the corners than the earlier songs. He’s definitely carved out his very own sound now, a sound that can be recognized, which is an accomplishment in itself.
Saturday, Monday follows up on the soul-experimental cool excursion “Headshake” in the Autumn with the the four-track EP “The Ocean”, released today. Listen to the title track here below, where you also this time can hear Julia Spada contributing with her vocals.
I wrote about Lymland and their album “Ensamtidsroman” in October last year. They have now also released a video to one of the tracks, “Söndagstråkigt”. It’s the multi-artist Hans Appelqvist who has directed this somewhat eerie video, where he’s also added sounds to amplify the ambience.
Today we continue with the series The Artist’s Story, which was started in the end of last year. It’s Jeanette Sollén who grabs the relay baton Jon Rinneby left her in his post. Jeanette is now right in the middle of a project with the Italian graphic designers Simone ”SketchThisOut” Massoni & Cosimo Lorenzo Pancini; a calendar is being created month by month, containing a typeface accompanied by a girl, a story and then music created by Jeanette, music she calls Font Pop. Read more about it here below.
Jeanette Sollén and Stuart Dahlquist
There are musicians who have urged me on and on all through their astounding sound universe, and there is music that has taken me out to or maybe rather into emotional spaces I didn’t knew existed before. There are beautiful melodies, ingenious compositions, unique sounds and free thoughts. They have all been important, and I’ve loved to experience them all.
But then there is that music, those musicians, who cut through all your senses. Those whose first fingerings touches your nerve threads, whose first beat make your pulse succumb, those whose language is your language, though it’s full of completely new, lovely and so far unheard words. Those that take you home. In to your inner core, out to the uttermost particle of the universe.
Thankfully there’s a lot of them, as I prefer polytheism. The music may in this context represent a single creational god, but I praise all it’s shapes. I can’t choose, I need them all. Brian Eno, Laurie Anderson, Robert Fripp, Meredith Monk, Kate Bush, Steve Reich, Esbjörn Svensson trio all belong here. Each one of these, and many more (from the classical music, flamenco, punk, jazz, rock and world music) has a chapter in my bible with more or less clean and transformative stories from my reasonably long life, which I would have liked to share with you.
But now I’m going in a somewhat different direction. I’d like to share my joy that gods are still being created, that they’re not only something of the past, but that they continue to stream into our blessed world. That is, unless you’re a fanatic who decide that you’ll stick to the first god that turns you over with it’s creative force. But, as I said, I’m a polytheist, and I have the honour now to present a quite new member of my Pantheon of soul guides, path finders and power sources: Stuart Dahlquist, Seattle, USA.
When I first meet him it’s as a songwriter and organ player. It’s on a music site where they had started a competition for ”low-track pieces”. I had uploaded a piece myself, “Ripe when yields to gentle pressure”, most for fun, probably because I was restless some late night since I couldn’t play and wake the neighbours, and too lazy to take a walk.
With half an ear I listen through some of the other contributions, still restlessly stomping the floor with my foot, and I click on a track which is called “Thine V 1″. It starts as a simple walk down a G major scale and I become curious. Like Kristian Luuk would have said: “Where are we going?” Who has the guts to start so clean and simple, besides Pärt then maybe, and the power to open up new undanced grounds? Stuart.
I was totally happy. I looked up more about Stuart and found several albums and projects, and the night went along well into the morning in the company of brave, mature, pesonal, unpretentious, playful and generous music from Stuart’s world. Extraordinarily nice.
It shows up that he has made quite a journey through music, especially as a bass player. Some bands/projects from his resumé are Brokaw, Zigenort, Sunvata, Sky Buriel, Sunn, Goatsnake, Burning Witch, Magnaflux and Hungry Crocodiles. At the moment it seems like he’s working primarily with the band Asva and the new project Thine. So here’s a video from Asva, “Birds”, from the album “Presences Of Absences”. Enjoy…
I met Evelinn Trouble when she was only 13 years old when we did a couple of jazz concerts together. Her amazing musicality and and voice made a strong impression on me already then, and I understood that she was a musician to be reckoned with in the future. A few years later she hit the music scene in Switzerland (she moved there with her family) and album after album and song after song has astounded me with uniqueness, creativity and musicality. Just recently she released her new album “The Great Big Heavy” (Bakara/ 2013). Here’s a new video with the song “Flowing” from this album.
Check out also the video “Warface”, which you’ll find on the tube. Heavy and cool.
One of my own songs to give some attention to
I started quite early to write music and then started my own pop/rock bands, later turning my attention to more experimental constellations also exploring avant garde, world music and jazz. But my main efforts in music have been focused on various contemporary music dramatic compositions, choir stuff and EAM. During many years the boxes and folders was filling up with sketches of songs; I didn’t have the time to finish them as I was working on these other large projects. But then last year I got the desire to to do it again: songs. And I was invited to join a fun collaborative project, Chicks & Types, with the two Italian graphic designers Simone ”SketchThisOut” Massoni & Cosimo Lorenzo Pancini.
Simone makes a calendar where each month features a typeface accompanied by a girl; Cosimo then writes a story about the girl and I write a song to each image and story from the girl’s point of view. I entered the project during the Autumn and now we’re going through the entire calendar from last year, which eventually will be published both as a book and an album with my Font Pop. Here’s my latest contribution, “Patricia”. Mix & mastering Jon Rinneby, Sound of Wool.
The band Cyan Marble, hailing from Västerås, say that they get inspiration from movies and old TV series like Twilight Zone. And that ingredient is quite obvious and makes their sound special on their new EP “Mirror”. There they present three songs, which first of all make me think about progressive rock, a rather intense one and then also with this old TV-thriller vibe, highlighted with organs and theremin-sounding synth figures with that classical horror trembling. Even if I haven’t been able to enter the lyrics at all, the songs overall feel filmic, where they pass through quite a few sequences during the rather short song durations (for being progressive music). An experimental album with a rather unique sound.
Olof Persson from Broken Boys also has a solo project he calls Heat and White. In spring he released his debut EP “Sea-Through”, which is a different cup of tea than Broken Boys. Here we move down to the sea in 4 ambient and melodic variants of the same theme, with a very special mix of melodica, reverb heavy guitars, synth figures and beats.
You can listen to the entire album on Bandcamp. The EP is released on the label Zeon Light who explain that they are a tape label, which obviously means that ”Sea-Through” also is available on cassette tape.
Koltrast (transl. Blackbird) is an odd bird in the world of hip hop, if I should call it hip hop. The band consists of the duo Bessem Bedziri, who is behind the beats and the soundscapes, and Olov Larsson, who delivers the lyrics. On their new album “Inre”, you can also find guests like Remedeeh, Henrik Stålnacke, Naomi Runa and Emilie Tejeda.
They explain that the core in the project from the start has been to experiment with the relation between words and sound, and even if the song below “Ruttna Röda Äpplen” (“Rotten Red Apples”) is closing in on hip hop with melody and a strong hook, much of what you can hear on the album would make a strong impression on a poetry recital as well as on a hip hop scene.
I think that they succeed extremely well in creating a connection between the somewhat desolate, melancholic music and Olov’s word imagery and a pleasant balance between the inner journeys and the outside scenery. There’s a strong bond to nature, which is evident in the song titles to start with, and to what I experince as being nordic. I also appreciate that Olov sings in his northern dialect which makes it feel more naked and closer.
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.