Mårten Lärka’s Christmas calendar “Trasiga pepparkakshjärtan”

December 2, 2016 at 4:21 pm

Mårten Lärka's Christmas calendar

Yesterday the Christmas season started for real as I had to scramble up att seven and join my daughters in front of the TV to watch this year’s Christmas calendar. And every year it’s both fascinating and a bit stressful to see how much a holiday can dominate society during one whole month. In the music business many say that December is the worst period during the year to release music, if it’s not Christmas songs of course.

I’m not going to revel in Christmas vibes here on the blog, though, with just a couple of exceptions. I will probably have a traditional post about new Christmas songs later on, and also present a tip about an alternative Christmas calendar today. It’s the singer-songwriter Mårten Lärka who this year counts ten year for his Christmas track “Trasiga pepparkakshjärtan” (“Broken gingerbread hearts”). He’s celebrating this by inviting friends and artist colleagues to make their own versions of the song, which he presents every day in the calendar together with some other clips. Most of it is in Swedish. He writes:

“There’s a huge varaition among the contributions. One clip from Paris gives me goosebumps and another from Brunflo (town in Jämtland, in the north of Sweden) is a piece of fascinating swamp blues and yet another is a collage of images, so strong I don’t know how to handle it.” (transl. from Swedish)

You can follow the calendar on Mårten Lärka’s Facebook page and here below you can listen to the original song and also watch the first part. And first up was the mentioned swamp blues with Jens Gustavson in Brunflo.

Kriget – “Out Of The Fire Into The Sun”

October 18, 2016 at 3:32 pm

Kriget

The quartet Kriget, Christoffer Roth, Gustav Bendt, Per Nordmark and Mattias Franzén (new member), are on their way with a new EP, to be launched in the beginning of next year. Earlier they have released three full length albums and also an EP, “Fazed”, last year where they were accompanied by Sophia Somajo and Dida. It’s a band which seems constantly on the move so from the last year’s excellent EP, where they added vocals for the first time, we can probably expect something quite different now.

And the first taste, the single “Out Of The Fire Into The Sun”, also points in that direction. It’s a track that runs me over with punk hammering drums, intense pumping bass and saxophones that sweeps in like solar winds across the fast journey. I can’t help feeling some vibes of psychedelia, something like early Pink Floyd, in a shade of “Astronomy Domine”, when voices come in chanting the title. Otherwise it’s hard to put labels on their music, it’s both rock and electronica in a special symbiosis, so the best advice is to just jump on the ride and feel for yourself. Here’s also a spectacular music video, made by Marko Brandobanski, which may help set the mood.

Kriget on Facebookon Spotifyon Apple Music

In elektronic spaces with Eko, SQRD, Saliko and Genius

December 17, 2015 at 7:06 pm

Eko

Eko – “Ekonomusik” EP

The two musicians Gustaf Nygren (Trädet, Sounds of Nonno) and Oscar Björk (Velu Leka), hailing from Stockholm, have created the new project Eko together. Last month they released the debut EP “Ekonomusik”, an EP they describe as “an ambient half hour in three pieces with a hope of larger forests and less borders.” And the hope is very much alive in this bright and beautiful music, which is glimmering from the meeting between electronic, imaginative spaces and electric guitar sounds. There is a sense of nature lyric in the music, which reminds me of some of Björn J:son Lindh’s records, in the grandness and in the stroke of nordic melancholy. Here’s one of the three tracks.

Eko on Facebook – on Soundcloud

 

SQRD – “Keep Saying” EP

SQRD is an artist from Uppsala who moved to Berlin to focus on music full time. And with his exciting debut EP “Keep Saying” he fits perfectly in the city’s creative electronica scene. This feels unique and interesting where he express experimental ambitions as well as catchy hooks. Here’s the title track from the EP.

SQRD on Facebookon Spotifyon Apple Music

 

Saliko – “I Laid Myself Down Like a Temple Ruin”

Behind the artist name Saliko we find Emanuel Tägil, an artist who has played with various bands before, but who decided two and a half year ago to go his own way. The album “I Laid Myself Down Like a Temple Ruin” was released on Sunday and is his debut. He says that he wants to express his musical identity by mining everything that has inspired him during the years. To take in everything from black metal to church music and computer games and try to find some common ground where all this meet. It is a fascinating journey which is impossible to characterize in a genre and where he uses an analogue synth, acoustic instruments, percussion, sampled sounds from nature, drum machines and vocals. He defies common song structures and is moving somewhere between art music and pop where I can hear ambiences from church music, ageless folk music, 80’s new wave and minimalism. Here are two songs to taste.

Saliko on Facebookon Spotify Musicon Apple Music

 

 

Genius – “Floating On Air (Tribute To Etienne Cap)”

The French electronica project Genius has an ongoing series of songs called “Point of View” where they make tributes to all the geniuses that has inspired them. They have released reworks and interpretations of songs from artists like Roy Ayers, Dusty Springfield and Herbie Hancock before. Here is their latest creation with the relatively unknown Etienne Petrus V. Cap in the center of attention. Etienne Cap was a Belgian soul and funk musician, first of all a trumpet player, who played with Max Greger orchestra and James Last among others.

Genius on Facebookon Soundcloud

Rooni – “YODO” EP

October 5, 2015 at 3:43 pm

Rooni

The trio Rooni, with the songwriter Gustav Nilsson at the front, have just released their new EP “YODO”. The title is an acronym for “You Only Die Once”, paraphrasing the popular expression YOLO. Gustav writes that he became a first time father a year ago, an experience that made him start thinking about his own mortality, which is now reflected in these songs. It is hardly a gloomy collection of songs, though, rather the opposite. It feels life-affirming and the EP is full of uplifting, playful indiepop. The songs have a straight-on approach with simple, catchy choruses, stirring bass melodies and a nice unpolished sound which makes it feel like they’ve just been pulled out, smoking hot, from the power pop oven. Listen to a couple of tracks from the EP:

Rooni’s site – on Facebookon Spotifyon Apple Music

Blue Coat Venture – “Nothing to Die For”

March 17, 2015 at 12:59 pm

Blue Coat Venture

Blue Coat Venture is a solo project created by Gustav Löfstrand. He writes that he last Spring was wandering around in Stockholm dressed in his father’s old blue coat. His reflections during these walks landed in the decision to really do something about his own music creation and to go all the way with it. He and a friend built the studio Lärkskogen at the centre of Stockholm and he started recording his own songs, inspired by the sounds from the city.

You can hear the first results here below, two singles he released recently, which will eventually lead us to his debut album release on the 13th of April. It’s beautiful, soft, very soft singer/songwriter pop and I can sense the influence from artists like James Taylor och Nick Drake, which he names as sources of inspiration when he grew up. The songs feel like comforting songs, like soft pillows to land in when life feels rough.

Blue Coat Venture’s site – on Facebook

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