If music was ever truly ‘created’ by someone, it would be the music by Lárus Sigurðsson. Not only the melodies but also the instruments themselves have been made by the 45-year-old Icelandic guitarist of post-rock band Stafraenn Hakon.
At VOLKOREN we are digitally released two albums of him now which where previously only released in Iceland: Dagur Sundraranna and Höfuð á Sundi. This way you can get to know him and his music. And now we also released 'We are told that we shine'
How to describe his music? Imagine Iceland, a winter’s day, you are alone and there’s hardly any light. However, in some way light that’s left reflects on a big lake. It’s hard to determine its origin. Somehow it does not matter, as this resonates beauty in its purest form…
Meet the Bensons – ten estranged relatives living separate lives across the globe. Like all families, they can’t seem to manage with or without each other, being miles apart, but sharing their deepest feelings through the occasional postcard.
To refresh your memory, ANDERSON is an indie-pop duo from The Netherlands, consisting of Bas van Nienes and Jeroen van der Werken. Their debut album we radio anderson was released by Dutch label VOLKOREN (16 Horsepower, at the close of every day) in 2005. A mix of singer/songwriter-pop and fizzy electronics, the album drew rave reviews from the music press, not just in Holland, but throughout Europe, and even in Japan, where it was released by Thistime Records. Successful tours followed through western Europe, the USA, and Japan.
at the close of every day
melancholy and lightness
darkness travels light unites deep melancholy with lightness in a way only at the close of every day can lay down. again, minco eggersman’s dark, narrative lyrics perfectly go together with axel kabboord’s trademark jazzmaster loops and in their playfulness they bring hope.
thematically, darkness travels light shows just how deeply hopelessness can nest in every aspect of human life – from minco’s stressed-out period following the release of his solo album reservoirs, a period in which almost literally the lights went out for him – echoes of which resound in falling through. from probably the band’s most personal and most heartbreaking song sadness is moving away (with beautiful strings that are reminiscent of the work of david sylvian) to the reality of broken homes (joy to the world but not today). like with his solo album hamden, again minco traveled to the usa for inspiration. like before the trip ended in chicago though this time the desolate concrete residues of an old industrial center of detroit inspired him most deeply. darkness travels light was born.
yet darkness travels light is not a heavy weight from beginning till end. the frugal, rudimentary arrangements - beautifully recorded by jan borger who also recorded minco’s solo albums hamden and reservoirs - breathe wideness and acquiescence. only very rarely do the songs need a powerful starter, but even then – in the haunting oh lord hear my prayer – only almost carelessly mixed in somewhere in the background. across the board it’s the consolation that gives voice to even the deepest melancholy that makes darkness travels light a very special album.
darkness travels light also represents the reunion of minco eggersman and axel kabboord after more than six years of radio silence, in which axel primarily focused on his family and medical practice, and minco earned his pedigree as a film music composer and a solo artist.
the way in which at the close of every day returns after this period shows just how much the duo’s potential has matured. every one of the songs is moving in its simplicity, while the small typical instrumentals add a timeless dimension. it is at the close of every day’s special gift to create music without making much sound that comes to the fore on darkness travels light like nowhere in their earlier work.
however black the night, eventually she will float past. in that combination of melancholy and hope, darkness travels light moves. for long-time fans a maturing of what has always been there in seed-form. for new adopters an impressive acquaintance with what has really already belonged to the best the netherlands have to offer musically for quite some time now.
at the close of every day begins with shadowlight and closes with when sadness is moving away. and perhaps, that’s the way it should be.
from the day the band started, at the close of every day has been known for their special editions. darkness travels light also comes in a limited edition: this time it’s a hand-numbered beer bottle filled with their own unique beer! the 75 cl bottle (limited to 250 bottles) comes with an album download (WAV) as well (downloadable at tongval.com, the beerlabel minco started recently with two friends of his). every 33cl bottle has got a unique code in order to download the ‚hope for hope’ song. tongval combines two great joys in life: special beers & sweet music. a unique combination that perfectly adds to the experience of listening and enjoying music these days. every year tongval will select an artist and create a specially handcrafted beer, fully inspired by the music released under the sub-label called audiobeer.
atcoed in days gone by
in 2002, atcoed made their debut zalig zijn de armen van geest, which was received well worldwide and was released in seven different versions (from usa to norway and from the uk to switzerland). the band received a cult status with the 2004 album the silja symphony, released in europe, japan and israel, which was named ‘album of the year’ by vpro’s 3voor12 (the outfit’s first 3voor12 award).
in the same year, at the close of every day presented their live cd/dvd the sound of someone watching me (registered live at brussels’ ab club during their european tour with 16 horsepower, and featuring david eugene edwards on guitar on the song september grass). in addition, singer/drummer minco released his first solo album the wagon fair during the same year.
the hymnal de geluiden van weleer, fully in Dutch, was received very well in the netherlands and belgium, being released in october 2005.
at the close of 2007, the remix album leaves you puzzled appeared, for which friends from the electronica world such as styrofoam, solex and donato wharton carefully deconstructed and reassembled a number of selected songs from previous albums. in 2008, to worldwide acclaim, the duo released their wonderfully titled cd troostprijs, expressing very succinctly the ‘consolation prize’ that at the close of every day offers their listeners.
in 2013 at the close of every day returned from a longer-than-planned sabbatical with monsters, a combination of highlights (like a duet with spinvis), rarities and a number of impassioned new songs. late 2014, there is the completely new album darkness travels light.
Brown Feather Sparrow
Brown Feather Sparrow was formed around singer-songwriter Lydia van Maurik-Wever in 1999. In ten years they recorded three albums which were very well received by the Dutch and international press. On top of that, many songs of the band were used for Dutch TV-programmes like 'Netwerk', 'Nova' and 'Zembla'. Brown Feather Sparrow performed many shows in The Netherlands, but also in Belgium, Germany, Denmark and Sweden. They conquered the hearts of many dedicated, quiet music fans. Their songs are like short stories, beautifully told, sometimes fragile like a baby, sometimes strong like an angry storm. ' Brave' was their last album as a band. In the fall of 2010 they will complete their career with one last (Christmas) album, working together with more than twenty befriended musicians.
Charles Frail is an Amsterdam-based singer of suites and serenades. As a youngster, it was old rock & roll that was luring at his soul. After years of pleading, his mother finally gave in and promised to give him an electric guitar. But on one condition: in exchange for the electric guitar he would have to be able to perform ten songs on a 'hopf filigrana', an acoustic guitar that had been a heirloom of some sort. Frail soon fell in love with this instrument, the electric guitar was anon forgotten. Withal, he came to realize that he was unable to sing given songs without altering them unrecognizably; that writing his own songs came easier to him than performing songs of others. He would later dedicate his first work to his mother (the self-released EP "My Mother the Great") as an offering of gratitude.
With ‘My Mother the Great’ Charles Frail performed in most of the renowned concert venues in the Netherlands: Paradiso (small and main hall), De Melkweg, Patronaat, Hedon, 013, Effenaar, Vera; as a support act for Architecture in Helsinki, Micah P. Hinson (‘endearing performance’, VPRO 3voor12), Joan as Police Woman and Daniel Johnston (!). For VPRO 3voor12 he did showcases at Noorderslag/Eurosonic (as part of the Amsterdam Songwriters Guild), Motel Mozaique, he was Hollandse Nieuwe (monthly Dutch promising artist), was a guest for the 3voor12.tv (broadcast on Dutch national television) as up and coming artist for 2008 and represented ‘folk’ for 3voor12’s music icons project. He did a series of living room concerts in Belgium, one time opening for Josh T. Pearson, toured in Norway twice where he was announced as: “en stemme fra en annen verden” (a voice from another world).
On his contribution to the Amsterdam Songwriters Guild compilation, folkforum wrote: ‘the most remarkable is perhaps Charles Frail … Intriguing, fragile, intimate and someone to watch’. On the final song of ‘My Mother the Great’ Kindamuzik wrote: ‘He’s got better things for you’ is the last song of the record. A folktraditional that Frail found on Harry Smith’s Anthology of Folk. In this impressive song Frail’s vocals reach unprecedented fragile heights’.
Frail took his time to work on his debut record and ended up writing three full-length works. He shuns song structures used by most contemporary songwriters in his compositions and instead tries to make every record a single work in its own right. This arduous task that most would shy away from in his hands becomes a lucid approach towards song making in his hands.
Charles Frail’s presents now ‘Morning, it Breathes’. This record is the first part of a triptych of which ‘Mirror River’ and ‘City Fire’ form the subsequent parts.
On ‘Morning, it Breathes” Frail tries to capture the tranquil dynamics of dawn, the interplay of slumber and sleep, the strange ways a dream can take when you wake up and fall back asleep over and over again. The morning world - that, as if draped in a cloak of sleep, is never seen by so many - on this record is emblematic of all that gives birth, rejuvenates and redeems.
The first 500 copies of ‘Morning, it Breathes’ are entirely handmade by Charles Frail. He bought a sewing machine and a hundred meters of cheesecloth, asked the lady who owned the sewing machine shop to teach him the ropes and ended up making a work of art that in its authenticity beautifully befits his music. All in all, a wonderful acquisition to the already versatile VOLKOREN company!
Charles Henri Maulini was born and raised in the colorful city of Nice, in the south of France. Together with his brother Pierre (ex-M83, ex- HillMadeLow and now part of Stal) Charles has always created music. In their youth he and his brother toured Europe with the indie rock band A Red Season Shade and this is how Charles got in contact with VOLKOREN. After musical studies at the National Conservatoire of Music and years working as a concert organist and pianist, the time was right for something new…
Unfortunately, this was literally the exact same time of one of the most tragic events in the recent history of France. On November 13th, two days before he planned to leave Paris for the recordings of his debut album ‘Peaks’, Paris was hit by terrorist attacks. Charles and his brother made it out alive (even though one bomb exploded in their favorite restaurant) but they lost dear friends in the attacks. In 2016 Charles was back in Nice and again he was there when a terrorist attacked France as a big van drove into the crowd. Life would never be the same. One wonders what could be next.
In the midst of all this chaos and disaster, music felt more urgent than before. Even though he was scared and shocked he did leave Paris for a train trip to Amsterdam to record his album together with producers and friends Jan Borger and Minco Eggersman. The songs were of course greatly influenced by what had happened over the last two years and without a doubt, new songs came to light. Heavier perhaps than initially planned, the subtle and mesmerizing piano melodies that seem to comfort the heavy cellos (by Jonas Pap) give room to abstract guitar arrangements (by Johan Borger) based on the subtle drums and other organic sounds (by Minco Eggersman and Jan Borger). The light that seems hidden eventually burst out on the last and beautiful improvisation track with the honorable title ‘Paris’, in memory of many who died in the attacks, thus summing up an epic album that will resonate for a very long time.
Even though the songs can be melancholic, Charles Henri Maulini aims to touch every listener’s heart with a touch of hope and so lights up the light inside. Because though it can be heavy at times – he knows what he speaks of – music is, after all, hope.
A must hear for anyone enjoying the albums of Nils Frahm, Eric Satie and Olafur Arnolds.
“No men lights a lamp to put it under a bushel. It should be on a stand for it to shine unto all that are in the house...”
It’ s 2016 and the world is (still) in darkness. Big or small, the hurt is hurting everyone and this does not simply pass by David Ahlen just because he lives on a remote island in the Baltic sea. Together with his wife and five children, David is part of ‘ Stenkumla parsonage’ , a Monastic community and shelter to anyone in need. Far from the blur of the big city, David lives in a barn sheltered by nature. Though living in a remote area, David is very eager to share with us his beautiful music. By sharing his music, the listener catches a glimpse of the light David sings about.
Being a folk singer from Sweden, David knows how to get a story across. The stories for his album came to heart after reading a book called ‘ The Concealed Light’ by Tsvi Sadan. After a period of improvising together with his good friend Andreaz Hedén, David recorded Hidden Light in just two days! Even though we had to wait for years for this new album, his music speaks like never before. Every one who remembers his last album (and his first on VOLKOREN) ‘ Selah’ will probably remember how David’ s music can resonate - and it’ s not just the music itself. David’ s stories and the way he performs them tends to bring rest to the ears, peace to hearts, as if talking about pure inspiration. David’ s unique voice is sheer yet intense as the thinnest light itself, and it really has been touching listeners all over the world for many years now.
David recorded many tracks on the island of Gotland itself, just like for the former album, and this time he worked with many different artists and like-minded friends in both Stockholm and Oslo. Complementing David’ s unique voice are Svante Henrysson (known for his work with Ryan Adams and Elvis Costello), Sofia Jernberg (from Fire! Orchestrawho sings a duet on the track ‘ Majesty’ ), Jonas Nyström (flugelhorn on the track ‘ Hidden Light)’ and Nicolai Dunger (known for his work with Will Oldham and Emiliana Torrini and he sings duet on the track ‘ Heal me’ ). Andreaz Hedén and Manne von Ahn Öberg (known for his his label Atrium and producing Stina Nordenstam and Under Byen) offered to mix the album after hearing such beauty.
Being the son of a travelling preacher, David has had a similar youth as singer David Eugene Edwards of 16 Horsepower/Wovenhand, and it’ s not by chance both artists found their way to VOLKOREN, a small Dutch independent label. Even though living abroad, the label has been like a family to David Ahlen ever since. In the past David Ahlen has toured with artists like Jonathan Johansson and Loney Dear. He’ s looking forward to touring Europe more in the near future, excited about what the new release will bring. The songs of David (what’ s in the name...?) are not your average gospel-tunes but have their own meaning and tone of voice. These short stories about faith, longing, death and life uncover a Hidden Light, a light seen by David Ahlen shared with the listener. When taking time to really listen to Hidden Light one might find it hard to switch back to reality...
At the start of the new millennium, Axel Kabboord and Minco Eggersman from at the close of every day were recording their second album the silja symphony in René de Vries’ studio in Amsterdam. Taking a break, the three started toying with some electronic sounds and, before they knew it, came up with the ambient track ‘alive in ‘45’. Dubbing their one day project ‘HILLMADELOW’, they decided to release the track on the first edition of compilation series The Pet Series (feat a.o. Spinvis, the innocence mission, Serena Maneesh, at the close of every day, Scout Niblett, Rosie Thomas). Some great reactions came in, but the guys were too busy with other projects to take HILLMADELOW to a next level.
Enter guitarist Pierre Maulini from the populair band M83 and A Red Season Shade, another French band whose record Minco and René were producing a few years later. When he heard hillmadelow, he was immediately excited and shared some of his own ideas he’d been recording on his laptop. With Axel too busy to rejoin the project, Pierre took his place and became hillmadelows guitarist and lead singer. The trio came up with enough ideas for a complete album, and started recording in Renés studio. To complete the enchanting sound they had in mind, the guys called in their friend Alice ten Brinke, (ex- Ponoka), to add some angelic vocals to the mix.
In the meantime HILLMADELOW had its debut with the irresistibly atmospheric ‘we make flowers out of plastic bags’ in Japan (This Time Records) and the response has been great so far.
Take the title literally if you want: fusing all kinds of ‘plastic’ sounds – samples, synths, electronics – the band has created a record that lives and breathes. Varying from catchy popsongs like ‘camouflage’ to soothing soundscapes like ‘misunderstood!’, it works like a soundtrack to a movie playing in your head.
The material for ‚Keep The Times‘ took shape during an intense two week period in which Jonas David experienced intense and cinematic dreams. Upon waking up, the plot had escaped him; however, the melodies and soundscapes remained crystal clear, ready to record.
This way of creating something that has seemed to flourish deep inside a stirred soul was not new to Jonas. Every now and then a little black notebook gets flooded within minutes with complete songs. It seems that Jonas‘ subconscious is diges- ting everything into encapsulated parcels. And as soon as they are tied up strong enough, they come out.
This german boasts an exceptional voice, which seems to be very versatile. Moving from a studier clear voice like Glen Hansard or Damien Rice to Justin Vernon‘s mellow and sometimes sharp falsetto, his voice seems able to change within se- conds. Always carried by beautifully mellow harmonics, his voice transports temper very honest and sensitive.
‚Keep The Times‘ sounds the way it came about. It‘s an intensely passionate liste- ning experience, resembling more a soundtrack than a pop album, all the while wa- shing up powerful and timeless songs onto the shore of your mind. On stage Jonas David relives his cinematic dreams and puts himself back into the feelings he had when he wrote. Should you come to listen, be warned – you‘re in for the journey.
Mariecke takes you along into her world with a voice that has been praised in several reviews since she was fourteen; a voice in a million. The songs are not full of big words and exaggerated emotions. No, they are indeed the little stories that often go unnoticed in daily life. The songs are apparently from another time - the 70s influences are unequivocal.
'Through my eyes' has become a grown-up singer-songwriter album that will surely not look unbecoming on the shelves of the record store next to albums of Gillian Welch, Rosie Thomas and Lisa Hannigan.
Quotes of people who used to work with Mariecke:
"Mariecke Borger writes warm, catchy and narrative songs. The songs which seem simple at first hearing always get a surprising twist which ensures the listener doesn't want to miss a moment."
"The first time I heard Mariecke sing it was as if I was nailed to the ground. She was sixteen years old and sang all those compositions of her own of which you'd swear you'd known them for years. From that moment I have been following her and whenever I hear her, goosebumps or even tears are never far away."
"A voice in a million... Absolutely beautiful, you come across such a voice only a few times in your life."
A new rainbow shines above the Fatherland.
One might call it a luxury problem. Bas van Nienes had travelled all over the world over the years, together with his musical companion Jeroen van der Werken (the other half of their electro-pop duo Anderson). Tokyo, Berlin, Los Angeles and Stockholm: been there. The hippest clubs and festivals, radio and TV shows: done that. Loads of new friends and acquaintances: bought the T-shirt.
After the intensity of touring 'seemingly endless flights, hours and hours of driving, surviving on fast-food and sushi, adrenaline days, sleepless nights' the trip would end where Bas had started it: at home.
As a tribute to his Fatherland, Bas put together an album full of sublime miniature pop songs.
The result 'Het land dat ooit vol eerbied zong' was released in February 2012 and received only positive reviews in the Dutch and Flemish press.
Since Bas' love for electronic music didn't disappear, he decided to ask a wide range of national and international artists to re-arrange the colors of his debut album. Now a new rainbow shines above the Fatherland.
Kleurplaat will be released on September 17th by VOLKOREN/PIAS. It contains 13 remixes in all colors of the rainbow, ranging from fresh-green and candy-pink (THE BELLS, FINDEL, JESUS AND THE CHRISTIANS) ranging from bright-purple (DAVID DOUGLAS, Eliakim ), dancefloor-red (Constanze & JORGE LOVE TECHNIQUE, TIMO Rozendal), ocher-yellow (DUFVAN), ocean-blue (MACHINEFABRIEK, CLOUD HOPPER GIZ) and grass-green (NAEPOLITAN SOUNDS) to chocolate-brown (Kettel).
Minco Eggersman tells us more and more, using fewer words in doing so.
After three years during which Minco Eggersman mainly devoted his energies to creating soundtracks for films (Jaap van Heusden’s In Blue for the better part of 2016) and documentaries (Sinan Can and Thomas Blom’s Onze missie in Afghanistan for Dutch national TV), he now delights us with solo work under his own moniker again: KAVKASIA.
KAVKASIA was born from a four-wheel drive trip Minco and his wife took into Georgia (‘KAVKASIA’ is Georgian for ‘Caucasus’). It reflects the search for beauty, fortitude and rest, that took Minco deep into the Caucasian mountains. The rugged, broken landscape, in which each sound and every impression pervades one’s very pores, landed him a mixture of humility and comfort.
From the mountains you look down on Tbilisi in the valley below – a babel of languages, cultures and interests, a clamor for attention (‘Tbilisi calls’). Looking up, you will meet three monks who will go a day’s walk just to buy a bread. You taste the ambiance of orthodoxy, the threat of neighbors around, and the steadfast desire for tomorrow’s beauty. In silence you honor the fallen (‘Home of the Brave’), and at the same time hope is never fully gone (‘Mount Ararat’, the mountain where Noah’s ark supposedly stranded).
Minco’s development from singer-songwriter at the crossroads of Americana and alternative into a soundtrack composer has provided a new twist and sharpness to the character of his storytelling. His stories are incisive and picturesque, but he uses even fewer words in telling them. What he does voice, is simple, striking and more finely defined than ever. An impression is enough, just like the entire record is exemplified by the little cross from Gergeti Trinity Church that Minco carries in his purse as a living memory.
The evolution of Minco’s musical idiom is equally remarkable. Known for lo-fi in his early career, you will now hear crystal clear recording by i.a. Jan Borger that together with the open arrangements sometimes flows towards jazz. The mixture of neo-classical, a bit of post-rock and avant-garde bring to mind the last works of Talk Talk and Jan Garbarek (‘Holy Ground’).
Much of the material on KAVKASIA has been based on field recordings in Georgia by Minco and director Yaron Cohen; recordings that actually bring Georgia into the listener’s living room as if the listener is really part of the songs. A farmer working his ground, a whistling river flowing, bells from afar, the soft ticking of the rain and the birds that flee when the mist quietly unwraps the mountains provide an outstanding space and depth in the mix (with the help of again Jan Borger and René de Vries), as in Minco’s earlier sound experiment on RESERVOIRS.
To provide this extraordinary project with the nuance it deserves, Minco again cooperates with a host of guest musicians. Cellos are played by Svante Henryson (known from his work with Elvis Costello and Ryan Adams), and Jonas Nyström – who worked with Minco on In Blue earlier, just like Svante – took care of the intense organ recordings in one of the most beautiful churches in the north of Sweden. The fantastic bass parts are added by Audun Erlien (known for being part of many ECM albums of Nils Petter Molvaer, Mathias Eick and Silje Nergaard). Vocals on ‘Melisma & Gurian’ and ‘Deda Ena’, in two local languages, are provided by Buba of the Iberi Choir. Besides Oene van Geel on violin, and the strings that are contributed by the famous Macedonian Symphony Orchestra from Skopje, Paul van der Feen of the Metropole Orchestra adds the saxophone.
When Minco met Yaron Cohen (known for his beautiful documentary Until the Quiet Comes that has been shot in the mountains of Georgia), this soundtrack to Georgia actually came full circle. For ‘Hidden in Clouds’ and ‘The Other Side of Dawn’ he delivered the breath-taking videos that together with the beautiful photography by Jolke Balt and Minco himself, plus fine artwork by Robert-Jan van Noort of Pankra, made KAVKASIA complete.
Minco, a drummer by original trade, consciously chose to omit the drums altogether so the music would serenely evaporate into silence like a mist on the mountains.
After their last album ‘Outtakes from the Revival Songbook’, which was attached to the novel ‘Nineve’ by their singer Rick de Gier, Ponoka is apparently through creating ordinary albums. Their new project is another combination of music and literature, called ‘Lost in Ponoka’. It’s an ode to the peculiar Canadian town of Ponoka, where Rick grew up, in songs, stories, and photography by Rick’s sister Marian. The project will be released in October, in the form of a beautiful full color book including a CD. As for the music, ‘Lost in Ponoka’ is a typical Ponoka album with plenty of catchy indie tunes, but this time there’s a fitting americana twist. Expect to hear banjo, pedal steel and hammond, as well as some smooth backing vocals from Mevrouw Tamara (known from Dutch TV show ‘De beste singer-songwriter van Nederland’).
Sara Forslund is the second signing from Sweden in two years’ time and she is, like David Ahlen, a singer-songwriter who is known for a minimal and personal approach, serving her audience small and melancholic songs known for their spiritual and sometimes mystical atmosphere.
"When Sara first approached me about mixing an album for her she sent me a couple of demo tracks and raw as they were I was immediately taken with the texture and directness of her voice, so I agreed that I would work on her album once the recordings were finished. Those recordings have now blossomed into a first album of deceptive simplicity, the minimal addition of instrumental colours and vocal backing drawing the listener into the intimacy of Sara's vocals and lyrics."
John Wood is known for his work with Nick Drake, Pink Floyd, Fairport convention, John Martyn, Cat Stevens and Richard Thompson.
Sara Forslund (1981) was born in a small village called Borgvattnet in the northern part of Sweden. Borgvattnet is known for its haunted vicarage. At that time, Sara’s father Tore Forslund was the local priest and was nicknamed `The ghost priest´ after offering to relieve the village of its ghosts that were said to reside in the old vicarage….
Years later, even though Sara has moved on and is currently living in Stockholm, this is something that has undoubtedly shaped her somehow. She does not like talking of this past to much. She’d rather sing her melancholic songs that she has been writing ever since she was young.
Glaswegian singer-songwriter Gareth Dickson introduced Sara to Nick Drake's music and from there ‘Water Became Wild’ saw the light of day which felt like coming home after a long period of drought.
Over the years, Sara has travelled to many places and performed in countries like Sweden, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. In 2009 she also performed in Hällbyanstalten (a prison) in Kvicksund, Eskilstuna, several times.
Now it is time for Sara to finally release her first solo album: "Water Became Wild" on VOLKOREN (cd – digipack - europe) and on Time Released Sound (cd – limited edition - usa). Besides the minimal use of trumpet and piano, the album also features some great cello-parts by Svante Henryson who is known for his work on many ECM albums of artists and of course his co-operation with Ryan Adams and Elvis Costello.
“Water Became Wild” is produced by David Ahlen and herself and mixed by legend John Wood is a must for any VOLKOREN-fan as this release perfectly adds to the inspiring roster VOLKOREN has signed on so far.
Photo taken by Lisa Ljunggren
Sarah Lois is Wijtze Valkema (1983), a country & folk guitarist / singer. His personal understanding of music started when he heard the Carter Family. Music ought to be played at the end of the day, sitting on a quilt blanket by the fireplace. Songs ought to sound like they come straight from the fields of Tennessee. For instance the songs A.P. Carter picked up in the villages, and later on recorded with his family. Or songs that are inspired by the icons of country music: the aforementioned Carter Family but also Woody Guthrie and Johnny Cash.
On the cover of Sarah Lois’ debut album Pleasant Travels is a picture of a hundred year-old quilt blanket. This quilt was made in Mount Juliet, Tennessee, not far from the home of Maybelle Carter in Old Hickory Lake. Small scraps of old feed sacks, stitched together by hand, form a large pattern of stars. Each piece of fabric seems to be telling a story, just like the songs on Pleasant Travels: small themes, minimally arranged, unpretentious lyrics, vocals without studio tricks. But if you combine these elements, their sum is bigger than their separate parts. The quilt of Sarah Lois.
SEA and AIR
On the commercial climax of the genres „Singer/Songwriter“ and „Indie“ the big question is: What´s next?
A Greek folklore dancer who had to sing secretly when she was a kid and a German composer who can´t read music?
A harpsichordist with fear of flying and a guitarist who is scared of the sea?
Or a bassist who plays her instrument with her feet and a drummer who would´ve rather stayed in his punk band?
SEA+AIR is all of this.
Inspired by the melodic beauty of J. S. Bach´s baroque, the deep and experimental epoch of German 70´s music such as Popol Vuh and the big architecture of stadium rock like The Scorpions, the still simple songwriting of SEA+AIR always finds back to catchy but striking hymns that a country at the sea like Greece develops and spreads since centuries.
Since October 2011, the duo is currently be on world tour for 500 gigs in two years.
Live they both play up to five instruments at the same time which makes a band and sounds from tape unnecessary.
SEA + AIR have toured as support for artists like Sufjan Stevens, White Stripes, Jose Gonzalez, The Flaming Lips, The Soundtrack Of Our Lives, Woven Hand, John Grant and The Divine Comedy.
Sometimes music is found in unexpected places.
Imagine taking a walk, somewhere far away from the city, and enjoying nature to your heart’s content - when suddenly you’re aware of music. Music that you’d never noticed before. Sounds that soothe your mood and subtly suit your surroundings. You wonder whether the music is actually there, or whether it exists in your mind only.
It is magical moments like these that SILMUS has been trying to capture over the past two years, and it’s this kind of music that has found its way unto SILMUS’ new album ‘shelter’.
SILMUS’ second album ‘shelter’ seems to harbour the sounds of times long gone by, seemingly brought forth by nature itself. At the same time, these organic atmospheres are manipulated through elusive pitch shifters, smooth synthesizers and many another mystery machines.
Listening to the first track of ‘shelter’ is like being the first to enter a magnificent cavern, with its resounding layers of drones, reverby guitars and mere memories of pianos, played long ago. Echoes of ever changing water drops accompany you on your descent into darkness. Suddenly, a ray of light pierces the dark, matched by a morsel of melody. A few bats flutter out, leaving you alone in blissful silence once more.
These sounds from the deep bring to mind the music of Sigur Ros and perhaps Stars of the Lid. Then again, these atmospheres turn out less abstract than expected from time to time, turning into songs not unlike, say, Craig Armstrong’s or Sylvain Chauveau’s.
As before, Minco Eggersman was asked to produce and arrange the album. Next to adding some electric guitars, kayagum, harmonicas and various layered drones, Eggersman also wrote two more songs for the album. Jan Borger, as in the making of SILMUS’ debut, has again demonstrated his craft in mixing and mastering the tracks.
OSTARA, the 2012 debut album - that was well received by international media (4/5 in ‘de Volkskrant’) - by our favourite creative loner from Friesland (in the north of the Netherlands), was inspired by the concepts of birth, blossoming and growth. ‘shelter’ is its natural sequel, as it elaborates on these themes, moving on and arising from it, providing listeners with hints and glimpses of places far, far away.
So next time you find yourself alone, far away from the city, open your ears and you may find that from time to time music comes from unexpected places.
Water Became Wild Limited Edition
A combined release from Time Released Sound and VOLKOREN.
It's the limited edition from moody Swedish chanteuse Sara Forslund from her album 'Water Became Wild" Sara sang vocals on and was half of the duo behind the Birch And Meadow release on Time Released Sound a couple of years back.
We as Volkoren made the standard digipak and digital versions available and Time Released Sound made the deluxe limited version of this release.
The album was mixed by famous, old school analog engineer John Wood, known for his work with Nick Drake and many others over the years.
The limited edition version of “Water Became Wild” comes in an edition of only 63 copies. Only 43 copies will be available through this website! Each copy comes as a beautiful hinged and lidded box with a magnetic clasp, decorated in a wrap around white rose pattern stamp. Each box is covered with beautiful photos of Sara taken by photographer Lisa Ljunggren. Inside each box is a 3D diorama of Sara, contained under glass, and made up of actual leaves, moss and branches from the Swedish forest in which Sara is portrayed in the photos. Also included in each box is an hand worked accordion style, 8 panel fold out insert with all the lyrics of the album, a factory pressed disc in attached black envelope, actual pages from Sara’s journals, Sara’s hand typed and signed Swedish poems, bits of her pipe tobacco and actual lipstick smudges….all in all a bit over the top, quite special and very personalized!!"