Feivel – “A Die-Hard Piece”

February 15, 2017 at 5:31 pm

Feivel

Today Feivel, aka Elin Hörberg, serves the first taste of her upcoming album “My Mind and the Thunder Sky”, to be released on the 8th of March. The song is called “A Die-Hard Piece”, a song she wrote together with Peter Liddle from the English band Dry the River. It’s a pearl of a pop song which balances between melancholy and uplifting, sheer melodies and between inner turmoil and soothing certainty.

Feivel on Facebookon Spotifyon Apple Music

In the end of last year she also collaborated with the french producer The Last Port in a remix of her song “Home”. Here her organic sound meets his electronica soundscapes in an interesting blend:

Mårten Lärka – “Alouette”

February 6, 2017 at 8:37 pm

Mårten Lärka

A Swedish artist releasing an album with French lyrics isn’t anything you see everyday, and it’s even more uncommon if he doesn’t speak French and is known since before for his rock, pop and folk songs in Swedish. Mårten Lärka says that he’s been addicted to French music for a long time and that he has listened a lot to everything from Jacques Brel, Serge Gainsbourg and Francois Hardy to Stereo Total and Telephone. And I understand him. Due to other writings I started listening myself to French pop and rock a couple of years ago. To my surprise a fascinating world of music opened up to me.

When pop and rock currents from the US and England swept in over France in the 60’s they mingled with chanson, cabaret-traditions, world music etc and created a unique musical melting pot. I sense that they took some parts much further than in other contries, maybe because this was very much alive since before. Of course I’m thinking about the romantic side, but perhaps even more about the rebellious, provocative and defiant sides. Also humour, poetry and contemplating lyrics is something I associate with French music. Well, and then there is this thing about the language itself.

Mårten says that he heard something in French he didn’t know what it was, but that got him excited even though he didn’t understand the words. Something in the colours, the shades and the sound of the language. He decided to dive right into it and started from the beginning by studying Frech on his own.

“But I grew impatient and wrote pieces of lyrics before I had understood the language. It was quite a creative and fun way of learning a language, though. I rather feel like a pioneer in that area. You could apply it to any language education. I managed anyway to write som half-measured lyrics with good help from dictionaries.”

“My saviour was my French-speaking friend Hamid Khodja. He helped me out with pronunciation and choice of words. But it took more than a decade before we started for real. Before that all my song lyrics was in Swedish. But after several attempts to complete a tribute song for my tomato-red Renault 4 L (Laban, Quatrelle) something clicked. It just had to be done in French and there I was back again with my dictionaries.”

The end result after several years of work is the album “Alouette”, a collaboration with Hamid Khodja, who has written many of the texts and also sings on one of the tracks. The album was released last year and is an earthy, downscaled blend of rock, americana, blues and French pop vibes. I hear the rock rebel inside of him as his expression changes when he’s now singing in French instead of Swedish. And he does it with a spark of humour and catches this unexplainable French vibe in his own way. It’s a wonderful, playful and nicely unpolished record. He proves in the opening track that it had to be done in French as “Je suis un rockööör…” really can’t be expressed much cooler in any other language. I picked out three of my favourites and asked him to tell us something about the songs:

About “Je suis un rocker”: “It’s a translation of a song that was called “I am a rocker” from the beginning. We played it in the 90s in my band Opossum. When we changed name to The Trimatics we continued performing the song, but we never got a good recording. In 2014 I stumbled upon the first sketches from the portastudio and started playing with it again. On two tracks there were vocals/harmonica and guitars. I added drums and guitar fills on the two remaining tracks. This happened just as Hamid and I had started again and it fit like a glove to do it in French. This means that the harmonica and the rhythm guitar were 17 years old when the song finally ended up on vinyl. What else to say? Well, about the lyrics, “I am a rocker”. It’s about freedom and joy here as well. A naive and simple idea about seeding some love and like yourself and your life, and to be rocker once in a while.”

About “C´est ma vie ´a moi”: “The first lyrics Hamid gave me were “C´est ma vie ´a moi”. He started from a character he thought fit with my persona. It’s about living your life, with all the flaws that comes with it, without caring to much about what others has to say about it. A rather free and simple attitude to life. ‘I’m neither a prince nor a king but I sleep like a king by night’.”

About “Belle Quatrelle”: “I am (still) very proud that I on my own managed to rhyme Volvo with Voulez vous. Belle means beautiful and Quatrelle (4L) is the French nickname for the amazing car we in Sweden call Laban. A wonderful kitschy tune full of other familiar cars, that can’t be compared with Quatrelle, though. What about Porsche, Chevrolette, Citroén and the mentioned Volvo? I have written the lyrics myself but Hamid has made some corrections. After this song Hamid started writing lyrics for me. But it was “Belle Quatrelle” that started it all.”
(translated from Swedish)

Mårten Lärka’s site – on Facebook – on Spotify – on Apple Music

We Are She – “My Baby”

February 1, 2017 at 6:05 pm

We Are She

The band We Are She, hailing from Härnösand, has recently made a comeback with the two-track single “My Baby”. The last time we heard from them was in 2012 with a full length album. The new songs are characterized by a spacious indiepop sound which they explore in full when they build up the songs and explode in massive guitars and a great energy. “My Baby” is, like they describe it themselves, a perfect party track which I’m sure will get the live audience going, while “Devine” is a bit slower song, intensifying step by step to into a grand-sounding pop explosion. What makes the songs really stand out, and what caught me directly in the first bars in “My Baby”, is Linnea Kempe’s wonderful voice. She has this unique tone and an expression which lifts the entire song to the inviting party ambience they strive for.

We Are She on Facebookon Spotifyon Apple Music

Daniel Rosenholm – “It’s Gonna Be Alright”

January 31, 2017 at 7:00 pm

Daniel Rosenholm

You are probably wondering about where Dubious Quip is. Yes, I’m talking about the artist who seven years ago gave us the track “Obedient Minds”, a contagious, laidback tune with reggae vibes. After several more songs in the same spirit he disappeared from the spotlight and after the song “Boom Boom Boom” all traces after him stop.

Rumour has it that he got a haircut and a job. And that he changed his name to Daniel Rosenholm. It just happens that an artist with the same name released a new song and music video now in January, “It’s Gonna Be Alright”. Here the urban environment has been replaced with a breath of fresh air and the electronic instruments with acoustic ones. In a melody which makes think about “Autumn Leaves” he soon picks up a sweet backbeat groove we recognize. It’s a minor-drenched comforting song that dives straight into the melancholy, introducing a warm ambience and uplifting rhythms. So I might as well say welcome back to Daniel and hope that he has more tunes underway.

Daniel Rosenholm on Facebookon Spotifyon Apple Music

Jurmo – “Gnistor, irrbloss 1:2”

January 30, 2017 at 6:31 pm

Jurmo

It’s exciting with music that is searching more or less actively for what it really is. That is how I perceive this album, not as if it has an identity problem, but rather like if it is trying new ways in a playful and fascinating manner. “Gnistor, irrbloss” is music for a wind quartet (mostly brass), percussion and a voice (Nicolai Dunger), who alternately improvise, sound and play compositions which sometimes just are, sometimes are pop-melodic and sometimes are fragmentary. This search also makes it hard to categorize. Sometimes it sounds like jazz, but it’s also art music and pop. “Gnistor…” is the first album of two made in this way.

The founder is Johan Arrias, who gathered the musicians playing on the album, and he also writes that the record is “a mixture of ready-mades, poetry, songs, sounds and sketches”. This makes the album appear like an art gallery or maybe like a part of an art gallery. In any case, I get quite curious about the continuation.

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Johan Arrias’ site – on Spotify – on Apple Music – on Bandcamp

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