Posts in English

Häggfestival (Bird Cherry Festival)

In Sweden spring is magic. I imagine this isn’t unique for Sweden, but in fact for all countries in the same temperature zone. After a long and dark winter the light returns and with it comes all leaves, flowers and greenery. The world comes back to life again. Magic.

One of the early blossoms are Bird Cherry (hägg in Swedish) and we have them in abundance in our garden. I think we’ve talked about a Hägg Festival before (well, not on the blog obviously) just joking around.

Last weekend we had well over 20 degrees celsius and summer, which had as eager and starting to plan for our very own Häggfestival. This weekend we we’re determined, even with nearly freezing degrees, wind, a bit of rain and farming in the background. Oh, well, it’s never going to be perfect anyway!

I suppose I imagine it would be just us, Bird cherries, spring and music… Four ingedients we both happen to love. We still hope you will enjoy our Häggfestival 2016!

Passing The 50k Mark

Just recently we passed 50 000 views on our Youtube channel. It has been active since 2006 and I would say that we were considered early adopters, at least in Sweden. Not many bands had their own channel at that time.  Part of the situation was caused by the fact that you had to acquire a license from the copyright collecting societies for every site you’d like to upload your music to, if you were to follow the terms and agreements strictly.  The situation was a gray zone and therefore we worked slightly anonymous by uploading the videos from a user account named “holymolydoly”. The username is still stuck in our url, not very handy for branding, but there you have the story anyway. A lot has happened since then and today every musician use Youtube as their no1 video site, even uploading covers and everyone think it’s fine. You could say the outsider has become mainstream. Or maybe it’s all wrong to recall Youtube as an outsider, because before here was nothing.

The most viewed video from our channel is this indie style video of our song “I See You Now” with more then 17000 views.

Fairly popular is the video from the video installation week.

Song – Come Petrichor

Here is the new song “Come Petrichor”. I’ve written so much about it in my previous post that anything I put here will just feel like a repetition. It feels great that it’s finally finished! We’ve been working on it for quite some time. You remember the first glimpse you had in the video installation week and that’s kind of where it started to become a song. Have fun listening!

petrichor_coverart

Title: Come Petrichor
Genre: Rock/Ambient/Electronic/Doom
Lyrics: Come Petrichor
Available On: SoundCloud, Spotify
Mastered by: Digitalfabriken, Tomas Ferngren
Released: 28/12 2015

Petrichor and I

I love learning new words. When I bumped into petrichor I just knew we were meant for one another. I just didn’t know how exactly. It all started with Neil Gaiman, famous author, writing an episode for the Doctor Who series called “The Doctor’s Wife”. It is a favorite episode for many more reasons than petrichor (Scrapyard at the end of the universe, Iris as the Tardis, “Did you wish really hard?”).

When I got the meaning of petrichor (the smell of the first drops of rain touching the soil) I knew it was the one word my vocabulary was missing. I don’t think there’s an equivalent in Swedish. I didn’t know there was a word for that magical smell at all! I’ve loved that smell since I was a child. And as it turns out I’m not alone. In fact there’s a scientific explanation to petrichor. The smell consists of two things which during rain are released into the air: A secrete oil from some plants and chemicals produced by bacteria in the soil.

2015-08-25 16.14.30

Something like a couple of years passed (who keeps track anyway?). Then I sat and wrote the lyrics for “Come Petrichor”. It wasn’t easy and I was determined to rewrite until I was completely satisfied. A few months later I started putting the music together and something like doom ambient worked it’s way out. I still wasn’t convinced it would be good. (That’s when it made it to the video installation week. I thought at least I can use it for that).

I finished the structure of the song and the vocals and handed it over to Nicko. When the guitars were added I just knew it was one of the best songs we’ve ever written and arranged. Even Nicko said: “I didn’t think we could top “A Rock For A Heart”, but I think we just did”.

2015-08-25 16.13.30-1I love the apocalyptic doom feeling. I love the rock meets electronic ambient. I love the dark and muddy lyrics that breaths of a past and a future. I miss the fact that I tried to make it clear it was a fig tree in the lyrics, but eventually was forced to cut it out (too many syllables…). But right now it doesn’t matter. Right now it’s everything I love from a song and it’s even got a peak moment right after the bridge.

Well, dear readers, that’s my petrichor for you. I could never hope that you love it as I do, but I sure hope you’ll enjoy listening to it! So look out for our new song, it’s coming really soon!

Studio blunderings

Well, we’ve come to the conclusion that sometimes there’s no point doing things you don’t like and especially if you’re not that good at it (and lack the equipment), like mastering songs. We’ve hired Digitalfabriken for the task of mastering the Rachel Green EP and “I See You Now”. We liked the result and so we hired them for “A Rock For A Heart” too.

With “A Rock For A Heart” it rather turned out to be a circus. First Nicko and I managed to send the final mix of the song as mono tracks (omg…).

Then Niklas Winde was disappointed with the mastered result of his remix (to much compression), but got to work that out with the studio technician. Everyone was happy.

When we finally thought everything was satisfactory Nicko woke me up in the middle of the night (no kidding!) to tell me that during the second chorus the sound changes. I had noticed that just a few hours earlier, but dismissed it as my headset getting worn. In deed, some mastering hick-up that we (stressed parents of a 1.5 year old child) didn’t manage to hear when we tried to listen earlier.

Then, just to complicate things, it turned out that Digitalfabriken were moving and had packed all equipment. Therefore they couldn’t check what had happened instantly. But good things comes to those who wait and now “A Rock For A Heart” is released and just in the past week reached Spotify as well.

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On the subject of loss

There are many losses in the world and to me it seems that the socially acceptable loss to grief are when a friend or a family member dies. For a certain time people can put up with the mourning process, but in my experience the process takes much longer. Loosing a pet is also very painful, but you’ll only get sympathy and understanding from those who know. To others it’s “just a pet”, when in fact it’s been your best friend for so many years.

But for loosing a dream, which could be just as painful as the above, you’ll get little sympathy. A clap on your shoulder at it’s best and some comforting words. However, the mourning process is just the same. But this time you’re forced to suffer in silence and the grieving comes with guilt, what-ifs and self-blaming. I think there are so many people all around us mourning the loss of a dream. Be it big or be it small, it really doesn’t matter as long as it really mattered to you. The fact that what you expected didn’t come true can be very hard to deal with and it requires a mourning process. It can be anything from a broken heart, disease, cancelled plans, a failed career, a child birth that didn’t turn out as expected, well, you name it. Where I sit it’s not much talked about. Then mourning process could isolate you. I know it has done that to me at times.

When I wrote “A Rock For A Heart” I was deep in grief. My first cat, Sidharta, with whom I had such a special connection, died in cancer long before his time. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, I had to make the decision to put him to sleep. “A Rock For A Heart” was born. A friend of mine said that there is a field in Heaven for the spirit animals where they wait for their masters. I envisioned it now and then as a comfort.

It’s been six years now and so much has happened. I have lost dreams, some really big ones, mourned them and moved on. But I’ve also been blessed in many ways. I try to remember that. Therefore as the years have gone by the lyrics of “A Rock For A Heart” has come to mean a lot more to me. In it’s essence it is about grieving and it is about making the difficult decisions in life. Somehow the tough grown-up part of life and of being the responsible.

bench of thoughts

Song – A Rock For A Heart

Our music is going through something of a rebirth. I like it! I think we are more and more finding our style. And honestly, it hasn’t been this much fun to make music for quite a while.

“A Rock For A Heart” is a song that I wrote in 2009 actually, but I haven’t really had the courage to record until now. I’ve just had the idea about blending punk drums and an electronic touch. So here it is, a quite dark song if you listen to the lyrics, with a blend of punk, rock, ambient and electronic.

A friend of ours, Niklas Winde, has made an electronic remix of the song. Taking the electronic touch a lot further. We work in very different ways, but it has been a broadening experience for all of us to work together. More about Niklas in another blog post!

On the subject of crazy ideas and having fun. I was considering what to shoot for the cover art for ages. Then I came up with the idea of muddy arms and a rock dipped in mud (a lovely blend of soil and water). In black and white the rock actually looks like a real heart. A little gross, I agree, but quite a bit rock ‘n roll.

arockforaheart_coverart

Title: A Rock For A Heart
Genre: Punk/Rock/Ambient/Electronic
Lyrics: A Rock For A Heart
Available On: SoundCloud, Spotify
Remix: Electronic remix by Niklas Winde
Released: 20/8 2015

Petrichor – Video Installation Week (7/7)

I like hiking and we have some nice grounds with forest near the house. These shots are from that area, or rather the outskirts. The not so nice parts, but there’s something a little apocalyptic about it that goes well with the music. The music is new, an embryo called “Come Petrichor” that I’ve just gotten started with. We’ll see if it will be finished and released someday. In any case I just think the pictures show petrichor in an intriguing way.

Come petrichor

the color of my blood

the aching bleeding scars

wet soil soothes the heart.

Come petrichor

fresh roots tear their way

through the cleansing dark

from my buried past.

This is also the last of our video installations for now. We hope you have enjoyed this slightly unusual (for us anyway) project. There’s been pieces of the past, there’s been poetic moments, some humor, art and music from both the past and the future.