WSR081: Kristoffer Bolander - "3"
12" black vinyl
Release 21 May 2021
Limited OBI strip edition of the new album.
“I am the Rogue, I am deceiving, I am whatever you’ve been told”
When Leonard Cohen released his rendition of “the Partisan” - the anti-fascist anthem about the French Resistance during the Second World War - in 1969 on a 7’’-single the world was vastly different from the one we live in today. There were no cell-phones, no out-of-control finance capitalism, no electronic-dance music. But even tough most of our daily life has changed in countless ways, the haunting sound of Leonard Cohen’s guitar-picking crackling through the speakers still makes the hairs on our necks stand up. The beauty and magic prevails and is sustained. With the shape of the musical landscape being changed for good - there are still records and artists that capture this special feeling that only the greatest music can create.
One of these artists is “Kristoffer Bolander”. And of these records that will still move you in years to come is his third solo album “3”.
Maybe it’s the subtle, driving guitar picking - maybe it’s the gleam of isolation and breeze of eeriness that accompanies Bolander’s mellow and delicate voice that brings us back to the likes of Leonard Cohen or Tim Buckley. The classic songwriting of a singer with an acoustic guitar combined with a musical foundation that shines clear like the aesthetic of 21st century Scandinavian modernism. Defining the spectrum in which the greatness of “3” unfolds. Driving drums that remind of “A-ha” to set a contra point to the softness of Bolander’s Voice. The most precious and pristine Electric Guitar melodies that take you back to “the Cure” to be intertwined with soft synthesizer pads and tasteful bass lines. All of this to orchestrate the breathed words of Kristoffer Bolander - with verses sharpened to cut through the arbitrariness of modern life.
The song “Am I Wrong” embraces all of these aspects. A gentle “Alphaville”-like Intro to get captured by an irresistible beat to float Bolander singing “If I had a coin for every time I lied - I would retire alone to a private isle”. The theme of reclusiveness
functions as a leitmotif for the whole record. Not in a crushing, dark manner, but more in an inspiring and eremitical sense. This too becomes obvious in “Evelyn” - a hopeful upbeat pop-hymn that makes your shoulders move but still manages to keep the tone of the record (“Evelyn - I hate the city, I could never take part like you – Evelyn, I don’t want your pity…”). And then there are tracks like “the Rogue” - starting out like a classic folk song with beautiful acoustic guitar picking and singing - only to to be swept away by the entrance of the band and Bolanders powerfully meandering guitar melodies.
The songs were all written and arranged by Bolander himself - recorded at his home in Vänersborg as well as in the legendary Nacksving Studios in Goteborg by producer and mix engineer Anders Lagerfors. The renowned electro-pop artist Annelie Johansson provides backing vocals on two tracks as she did on the previous records “I forgive nothing” & “What never was will always be”.
With his third solo record Bolander has created something wonderfully affecting - an ocean of sound & drums - a collection of songs that are homogenous but versatile at the same time. Something to listen to still in the far future to comfort, delight and ignite you.
PHOTO IS AN ESTIMATION, FINISHED PRODUCT MAY VARY SLIGHTLY IN COLOURS AND FINISH.