Bäst just nu, juni 2017

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Fem låtar att lyssna lite extra på.

ThåströmUtanför Old Point Bar

– I slutet av september kommer Centralmassivet, i början av september släpps nästa singel (som fått namnet Körkarlen, efter en film av Victor Sjöström och en berättelse av Selma Lagerlöf). Tills dess får vi hålla till goda med den här spoken word- och industrigospel-dängan. Och det gör vi ju så gärna.

Liam GallagherWall of Glass

– Äntligen. Och den lever upp till förväntningarna. I believe the resurrection’s on.

ChromaticsShadow

– En av många bra saker med nya Twin Peaks är den fantastiska musiken. Chromatics nya singel är det starkaste exemplet. Vemodig, atmosfärisk drömpop som gjord för The Bang Bang Bar och de dimmiga skogarna uppe i nordväst.

Mount EerieEmptiness, pt. 2

– Förra sommaren gick Phil Elverums fru bort i cancer. Likt Nick Caves senaste album, Skeleton Tree, är Mount Eeries senaste alster, A Crow Looked at Me, en reflektion över död, förlust och saknad. Men där Cave använde sig av metaforer är Phil Elverum ständigt brutalt rak och okonstlad. Döden är inget att sjunga om, gör han klart tidigt på skivan. Inget att göra konst utav. Den är meningslös och smärtsam. There is nothing to learn, her absence is a scream saying nothing, sjunger han sedan i Emptiness, pt. 2.

Songs: OhiaMighty Like Love, Mighty Like Sorrow

– Och slutligen ett äldre bidrag. Jason Molina gjorde musik i flera olika konstellationer. Mest känd är han för projektet Songs: Ohia, som släppte skivor mellan 1997 och 2003. Jag återkommer ständigt till Molina. Till hans varma, ensliga röst. Till hans texter, som trots sitt mörker alltid är trösterika och hoppfulla. Till hans musik som lika ofta är kärv som den är melodisk och varm.  Jason Molina slog aldrig igenom på riktigt. I mars 2013, nio månader innan sin 40-årsdag, dog han ensam i sin lilla lägenhet i Indianapolis. En vidrig orättvisa och en hopplös förlust. Jason Molina tillhör de allra största gåvorna som musikgudarna någonsin har skänkt oss. Denna låt är bara ett litet exempel på detta.

 

Fotot taget och redigerat av mig.

Recension: Slowgold – Drömmar

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Vissa reagerar sent. Men nu har det hänt – jag har börjat lyssna på Slowgold. Detta är förstås mycket tack vare att Amanda Werne (som ju är Slowgold) sjunger på årets bästa skiva, Pelle Osslers Evig himmelsk fullkomning, och gästade Pelle på hans konserter nu i april. Men ibland behövs det något sådant. Något som väcker en och knuffar en framåt, får en att fatta.

Amanda släppte den femte Slowgold-plattan, Drömmar, i februari, och den tillhör det finaste jag hört i år. Folk snackar om progg, om hennes göteborgska bakgrund. Jag hör det inte. Jag hör lika delar Monica Zetterlund, lika delar Yo La Tengo, med ett stänk Greenwich-gitarrer från 60-talet här och var. Samtidigt låter hon inte som någon annan i Sverige just nu. Jag kommer jag inte på någon annan i Sverige som verkar inom samma referensramar, och får till samma sound, och att haspla ur sig namn och genrer är att förenkla hennes sound. Lyssna i stället.

Mest representativ för skivan: Andetag

– Drömsk indie, zetterlundsk vis-jazz. Essensen av Slowgolds sound.

Bäst på skivan: Evighet

– Psykofarmaka omvandlat till ett ljudspår. En varm akustisk ballad (med ett dragspel från himlen sänt) som driver varje demon på flykt.

Se Slowgold här i vår och sommar:

Bild hämtad härifrån.

Recommendation/New Discovery: Hater

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I’ll be writing this post in English since the band’s lyrics are in English. They also have a great chance of making it outside of their native Sweden (mainly because I think they’re good enough) and as many people as possible should check them out.

The band I’m speaking of is Hater, hailing from Malmö, Sweden. They debuted last year with an EP, Radius, released on PNKSLM. Their first full length, titled You Tried, was released one month ago (also on PNKSLM), and that album is the main focus of this post.

The music that Hater play is a moody sort of (indie-)pop. It’s not cute enough to be twee, it’s not dark enough to be post punk, not fuzzy enough to be shoegaze nor shimmering enough to be dream pop. Yet they incorporate all of these genres into their own expression. They have the aforementioned moodiness, and some of the darkness, of certain types of post punk (Common Way, Always to Get By). They have the wistfulness and melancholy found in dream pop (Carpet, You Tried) and the sometimes distorted, sometimes jangly guitars of C86/twee (Stay Gold, Mental Haven). And on Heavy Hearts they play an almost Fleetwood Mac-ian kind of sophisticated pop (pinch of salt, please) – in an ‘indie’ sort of way, of course.

Their singer, Caroline Landahl, alternates (convincingly) between hoarse cries and an almost velvet-y whisper. She sings of lost love, getting by in life, dealing with yourself and others – and I believe every word she says. The melodies surrounding her voice and lyrics are strong, yet subtle. You might not be walking down the street whistling any of the songs off of You Tried, but when you listen to the songs, the melodies, you feel them, way down in your gut.

I was supposed to see them live this past December, supporting Radio Dept., but my plans fell through (as so often they do…), and I wound up selling my ticket instead. Better luck next time, I hope. And hopefully soon!

Their album is available for purchase at PNKSLM’s store and all the usual places.

Photo from: http://pnkslm.tictail.com/product/hater-you-tried-lp-black-vinyl

New Discoveries: Sekel

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Hurula får den mesta uppmärksamheten från kritiker och den breda publiken, men den fräschaste postpunken just nu kommer från Malmö. Jag har tidigare pratat om True Moon och deras snygga blandning av Siouxie and the Banshees-attiyd och Chameleons-gitarrer. Den senaste upptäckten jag gjort heter Sekel. Sprungna ur psykrockbandet Technicolor Poets spelar de en atmosfärisk och melodiös postpunk, kraftigt strösslad med ett slags oljud man skulle kunna härleda till My Bloody Valentine eller A Place To Bury Strangers. Debutsingeln Selasi/Fred’s Wave släpptes i våras på Malmö-baserade Rundgång Rekords, och en fullängdare är på gång. Något att se fram emot.

Köp singeln här, och lyssna digitalt här.

English translation:

Hurula gets most of the attention from critics and the wider audience, but the hottest Swedish postpunk right now comes from Malmö. I’ve previously mentioned True Moon and their mix of Siouxie attitude and Chameleons-type guitars. My latest discovery is a band called Sekel. 3/4 of the members played together in the psych rock outfit Technicolor Poets, but now they play atmospheric and melodic postpunk, heavily sprinkled with the type of noise one would associate with A Place To Bury Strangers or My Bloody Valentine. Their debut single Selasi/Fred’s Wave was released this past spring on Malmö based Rundgång Rekords, and a full length is on its way. Something to look forward to.

Buy the single here, and listen to it digitally here.

New Discovery: Shrine

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Earlier this week I stumbled upon the glorious works of Bulgarian dark ambient maestro Hristo Gospodinov, aka Shrine, and I was captivated. I’m especially enthralled by his latest release, called Ordeal 26.04.86 – which serves as a tribute to the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster of 1986.

It’s a cinematic album.  Atmospheric and chilly, dark, with heavy electronics. Hristo mixes these electronics with field recordings and samples, which helps create a soundscape fitting for its cause of honoring this god forsaken day in the history of man.

And I say “heavy”, but at the same time I’d like to say that it’s a relatively accessible album. Relatively! It’s lightyears away from pop, of course, but it’s also not Stahlwerk 9-heavy. It’s not a full on sonic assault. It’s haunting, of course, and it demands attention and focus from its listener, but the sheer beauty of the album is something that most people would recognize if they were to give it a chance.

The album is released on the formidable Cyclic Law label – home of Allseits, Beyond Sensory Experience, Desiderii Marginis, AUN, Kammarheit, Cities Last Broadcast and so on. Hands down, the best dark ambient label out there (sorry Cryo Chamber and Steinklang). And this release ranks among its finest!

Picture retrieved from: http://www.side-line.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/shrine.jpg

New Discoveries: The Arms of Someone New

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The Arms of Someone New isn’t a new band in any literal sense of the word, but they’re (sort of) new to me. Apparently, according to Last.fm, I briefly listened to them back in the spring of 2010, but I have no real recollection of it, so to call it a rediscovery would be a stretch. A new discovery it is.

But who are they? TAoSN was a duo from Chicago, IL, consisting of members Mel Eberle and Steve Jones. They played a sort of ethereal mix between postpunk, cold wave and dream pop. Chilly synthesizers, drum machines, jagged guitars. Soft vocals. Lots of atmosphere.

They formed in 1983 and released their debut LP, Susan Sleepwalking, in 1985, on indie label Office Records. A follow-up, Promise, was released in 1988. I have yet to listen to the latter, but I have nothing but praise for the former. The reissue, available on Spotify, consists of the original album as well as an EP, Burying The Carnival, also released in 1985, and a 7-inch, Holy Dance, from 1984.

The music on Susan Sleepwalking is subtle, dreamy, melancholy without being gloomy, hard to grasp, but easy to get lost in. Despite sort of moving in the same sphere as the goth music of the era, TAoSN is more a walk along the sea shore at dusk rather than a midnight trip to the abandoned asylum or the church yard. It’s romance rather than nihilism or cynicism.

They never made it big. They probably didn’t make a living out of TAoSN. They have 111 listeners on Spotify. Despite its obvious beauty, this is not music for the masses. That says a lot more about the masses, though.

Listen to them on Spotify. Spread the word.

Photo retrieved from http://www.ssmt-reviews.com/artist/arms_of.html

New Discoveries: True Moon

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As an avid and longterm post-punk fan it’s always a great pleasure to stumble upon a new discovery within that genre. And today it has happened again.

True Moon is fronted by Karolina Engdahl, whom we know from the Malmö based punk/alternative band Vånna Inget, and they have just released their first single. It’s called Voodoo and it’s great. It’s a classic post-punk tune; chilly, shrouded in black and grey, dragged in the urban mire, with guitars that bring to mind Barney Sumner (Joy Division) and Reg Smithies (The Chameleons), yet with a strong and melodic chorus that shows off their pop sensibilities. Quite impressive. And that riff! Mein Gott (Goth?)!

In a recent interview with the formidable Hymn, Karolina reveals that the song is a fight song for all her sisters, and with a chorus that goes “I am a demon, I am a mother, I  am  a warrior (and is preceded by the short, simple, yet terribly effective line “I am an angry woman/I am a stronger woman”) I can see why, and I applaud it. Much needed.

I look forward to hearing more from this brilliant band and to seeing them live. Meanwhile I’ll happily keep playing Voodoo. Listen to it on iTunes or Spotify

Picture retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/366898380156490/photos/a.468766216636372.1073741829.366898380156490/576443589201967/?type=3&theater