Hector Projector

November 7, 2008 at 1:00 pm

Hector ProjectorHere’s a voice that will catch your attention. The music reminds me of classic folk singers like Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan. . There’s something especially capturing in Hector Projector’s music, that’s hard to describe. Maybe it’s the ambience or his voice, or the combination of them. Well, judge for yourself by listening to the songs below.

Hector Projector is also a brilliant animator, and you can see a sample of it in his video for “It’s Art” here below. You’ll find more films on Hector Projector’s Youtube page.
Last spring Hector Projector released the album “Missing Limbs”. If you wanted a physical copy of the album, then you could send him a drawing, either according to his instructions or freely. A guess of mine is that this will lead to a new animation project, and it will be interesting to follow this.

You can download the interesting album “Missing Limbs” from Hector Projector’s site, and here you can listen to two tracks from this album with the addition of the song “In Retrospect” from the album “Ballpoint Covers”.

Hector Projector also has a Myspace page.

I’m Playing the Strings Tonight
Does It Matter
In Retrospect

Mårten Lärka

October 18, 2008 at 5:01 pm

Mårten LärkaIt would have been easy for me to compare Mårten Lärka to a swedish Bob Dylan. Not so much because of the music but more for the lyrics, where the story of modern society is described with both humour and a sharp edge.

And musically the comparison is not just about the image of a man alone with his guitar, but also about songs like “Hemgång utgång” where Mårten feels like a bluesy Dylan from the seventies. Well, in the end it’s not that simple.

Mårten shows more variation than that, from a troubadour-feeling to something that can be described as Swedish ballad pop for example in the song “Livstidsvicket” to some kind of eighties-Kent in “Fri Luft” (listen to this great track on his Myspace page), to blues and to other styles.

And I feel rather comfortable not to classify an artist like this, but yet sense a whole in Mårten’s vocals and his concern that he has something to tell us.

Video for “Innan natten har gjort kväll” (2005)

The 14th of October Mårten Lärka will release a new album. Listen to two tracks from the new album:

Ettor och Nollor

Visit Mårten Lärka on Myspace

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,

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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