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RecordBook

  1. Dublin, Ireland
  2. Folk
  1. collection 9
  2. following 11
  1. Split
    by OVUM, a picture of her
    featured track 00:00/00:00
    Cinder Cinder
  2. La 4ième dimension (version longue)
    by Les Hay Babies
    featured track 00:00/00:00
    Motel 1755 Motel 1755
  3. Punkt
    by Alexander Ringbäck
    featured track 00:00/00:00
    Varje kipp ett hån Varje kipp ett hån
    I remember when I was a kid I started listen to music, I discovered on my father's amplituner I was able to press simultaneously "radio" and "phono" buttons. I was pretty sure I was broadcasting. Playing some of my father's records, I was talking to desk lamp as a microphone and announcing over and over again "SOS" by ABBA. SOS was basically the only word I understood, that's why. Time flies! Few things haven't changed. I still like vinyl records and I still like to announce bands. So now, for you especially, also from Sweden, Alexander Ringbäck and his latest album: Punkt!


    I still like an idea of not understanding lyrics. Somehow this way songs are about anything they could be in a same time. Music speaks itself. So since the first track we're getting acoustic folk rock in a Swedish way we know best from Jose Gonzalez for example. I don't mean Alexander tries to copy anyone, you just clearly can say both artists are from a same country. I was always so fascinated about Scandinavian music for this simple reason. It might be reggae, metal, pop, folk or minimal techno, since first note you just know it's from north of the Europe. And it might be even in english. 

    Punkt is sung in Swedish though. Only track title which makes some sense for me is "Fuck Denmark". When I contacted Alexander he insist to send me a copy of his album after he'll finish translating them to english. I agreed as if artists want you to check the lyrics so much it means he's very proud of them. Well, he should. I've listened to the album few times before I got the translations and then few times with the english version in front of me and they are probably even better than I imagined. Alexander sings about the world but not in a way you or me would see it. From his specific point of view in a poetic way. Some of the songs are darker than others, some are more bluesy but they're all connected with that specific melancholic Gothenburg style and amazing Alexander's voice. He sings through emotions. Result is stunning, doesn't matter is it in Swedish, maybe it even helps? Makes it bit more real as it's exactly what Alexander is trying to tell us, in his own language. Whole album is very comfortable and cosy if you understand what I mean. It's ideal for a long cold night, with fire on fireplace and a mug of tea, maybe with rum? 

    Punkt was released on vinyl as a simple black record. I like when one side of the label has just a picture on it. So instead of having singer's photography on the sleeve we got it on a record's label. Printed inner sleeve with lyrics in Swedish but you can request from artist english version of it. You can also request CD version in it if you don't have a record player. That's nice. Super simple cover itself and probably the most minimalistic back cover I've ever seen but do I need more? I got the songs and something to read. I need a tea now. And rum.
    appears in 1 other collection
  4. The Early Years
    by Shorthand for distance
    featured track 00:00/00:00
    If I Were Your Cat If I Were Your Cat
    There is something seriously wrong with commercial music. Even if we'd assume music itself isn't that bad (it is), main problem is always with lyrics. I don't want to name them, you know who I'm talking about. Songs about nothing. Songs that makes you wonder is it the world getting stupid or is it you detached from this strange reality. But don't worry there is Shorthand For Distance.

    Didio Pestana from Portugal met Eirik Sördal from Iceland in Berlin in 2011. Hot southern temperament mixed with cold northern spirit gave us music hard to define. Closest term would probably be anti-folk. They both sings, both plays guitars, but Didio adds keys, wind piano and I'm pretty sure I've heard somewhere there kalimba too. Music however isn't the most important part of "The Early Years" album. Lyrics are. I'm not saying this often but this record contains one of the best lyrics I've heard in a long, long time.

    Few anti-love songs like "If I were your cat"or "Oilspill" with beautiful confession: "If you were my tax report/I'd fill you out today/never to send you off". "The Ballad of Lonesome George" with literally philosophical connections. "You, My Micheline Star" ballad of how to cook and serve your loved one. "...and you would make the tastebuds glad/of both my mum and dad". "You Flu" a history of missing someone so much it becomes an illness... 

    I could really just quote whole album as the review. Lyrics here are masterpiece, funny but super intelligent. In a same time they're deadly serious. Way of describing difficult feelings with simple, sometimes even naive words, makes these songs even more authentic. Anti-poetry? Everything is a bit anti here and that makes it more powerful! You really don't have to follow crowd with every aspect of your life. 

    Cover of the album is also a bit tricky. First thought was "Tango in the Night" by Fleetwood Mac, but no. Take a closer look. There are Didio and Eirik at the bottom of it, playing music in a park. There are also all stories from their songs alive here. It's like a riddle or maybe a final joke. Find all the songs. And where the hell is George? Back of the cover is super simple. Name of the tracks. Black record with two different colors of labels. Simple white inner sleeve. There is something I can't forgive them though. There is no insert with lyrics. Or maybe that was an idea? Same as front cover, you need to get through the songs slowly and find their meaning yourself? Or maybe it is an anti-cover?
  5. Fading
    by a Singer of Songs
    featured track 00:00/00:00
    Tall Dreams Tall Dreams
    If you type "a singer of songs" into Facebook browsing bar you'll find a fan page of a music group from Spain. By the information from its page you'll know they're play "indie/folk/something" and in "other information" field they affirmed they sings songs. They do. And they doesn't really cares about genre. But it is indie, it is folky, and it is something.  


    Lieven came to Spain as a lonely refugee from Belgium ten years ago. He sang songs alone for a long while. He released "I Dig For Gold" in 2008 as a some sort of self helping therapy. As he admits it was a hard, dark time for him and writing those personal songs somehow helped him going. Therapy worked and Lieven released four albums after that. In meantime he assembled a band of other  refugees with drums, violin and double bass. Fifth album was written in his notebook and then arranged and recorded at the farm in the middle of nowhere during the winter. It was cold and very windy and maybe this makes "Fading" so intimate, like quiet whispering to yourself under the blanket on a cold, rainy night.

    I like sad songs. Songs about unfulfilled love, about autumn, rain, winter... I think they're more authentic than Pharrell's "Happy". There is something catharsistic about sorrow. Live isn't easy, it's full of tears and pain and that's the only way to define happiness. For me this is what Fading is about. It's like finding a way from fucked up situation. Like a light at the end of the tunnel. Some said a Singer of Songs music is like a soundtrack for losers. It's not. It's an anthem for those who knows it won't be worst now, cause they hit the bottom. From now on it can be only better. It's an anthem for losers who accepted the fact they lost. And this acceptance change them into winners. "Fading" is an album of hope. I just regret I haven't got it with me when I was going through a hard time. Cause everyone went or will go through a hard time and this is what this record is about.


    It is released on a white vinyl. It's beautiful! White disc with white labels, marked super simply "a" and "b". Inner sleeve with printed lyrics and some drawings. Cover itself, just black with a white tree but if you'll look closely you'll see whole background was made with a black marker. There aren't many projects which will fit into a "homemade" styling but "Fading" is definitely one of them. It is so real this way I almost regret I can't have it on a cassette. Branded as TDK or SONY with handwrite on it saying "a singer of songs, side a". But I have it on a white vinyl and it's marvelous and even though it seem like they don't care, they just sings songs which are folky something, they exactly knows what they doing and why. And it is something. Or maybe Something. With capitol S. Something to check, Something to listen. And I need more Something like this.
  6. A SHAPE OF FADING
    by we will kaleid
    featured track 00:00/00:00
    D R E A D R E A
    appears in 1 other collection
  7. Viraha
    by Aether
    featured track 00:00/00:00
    Catharsis Catharsis
  8. Zimą
    by Jerz Igor
    featured track 00:00/00:00
    Sanki Sanki
  9. It's Only You
    by Better Person
    featured track 00:00/00:00
    Sentiment Sentiment