DISCovery - Lucifers Lovsång
The original aim of the blog was to promote discussion about all and any facet of progressive rock but from time to time, bands and musicians contact ProgBlog with new prog-related material that they want to expose to a wider audience; ProgBlog's album of 2017 An Invitation by Amber Foil was one such approach.
The range of styles ProgBlog has been exposed to through this route has helped to expand and challenge my listening habits but time constraints have meant that not all submissions have received the attention that they deserve.
The DISCovery section has been introduced to better serve the requirements of musicians who contact ProgBlog with the aim of increasing the audience for their music; without music there can be no discussion of music.
Lucifers Lovsång (Lucifer’s Song of Praise) is a project from Björn Gardner (vocals, guitars, mandolin, banjo, bass, keyboards and percussion) with assistance from Filip Fjellström (drums and percussion), Max Leopoldsson (Hammond, Rhodes, keyboards), Mikael Norstedt (vocals, bass, drums, percussion), Hanna Schuldt (vocals), and Edda Magnasson (vocals)
Gardner’s background is in Swedish Folk music, though he’s at pains to point out that his emphasis is plucked instruments and Scandinavian and British/Celtic/Anglo-American folk song, not fiddle music – in fact his label Galdr is currently working on several folk releases for spring 2020
Recorded in Anders Lind’s Silence Studios in Koppom, Gardner suggests that the music of Lucifers Lovsång has been informed by the prog/psych/alt-rock canon from the 60s and 70s. Lind recorded and produced a large part of the Swedish alternative music movement´s output in the 1970s, and this is how the album comes across. Though the singing is entirely in Swedish, a translation of the lyrics reveals a deep political connection that also harks back to the Swedish ‘musical movement’ while the combination of lyrics and music fit into absurdist Mothers of Invention territory or even the challenging front of Henry Cow and the Rock in Opposition movement (Det finns inget utom det materiella för det har gud bestämt - There is nothing but the material because God has decided); just reading the lyrics reminds me of Roger Waters directing his ire at those responsible for despicable politics and the destruction of the environment, with the message driven home by both clever word-play and repetition of phrases. Having said that, if you don’t understand Swedish, the singing is anything but gloomy. Despite Gardner’s folk background, this is complex, electric music and though it’s only a very short album, running in at just over 30 minutes, he thinks that some reviewers struggle to get beyond the first few bars of Misslyckas bättre (Fail Better) which comes across as ‘hairy rock ‘n’ roll’ when they might have been expecting washes of prog-psyche. However a sinuous organ and synth line at around 40 seconds into the track shows it’s well worth persevering because the album is very rewarding, especially the keyboard work which nudges the sound in the prog direction. The brief instrumental Bucifer and its longer analogue Bluecifer would easily fit into the canon of any of Gardner’s fellow prog countrymen.
Originally released in digital format at the beginning of 2018 and re-released in October 2019, there’s now a vinyl version with a formal release event on 25 February at Larrys Corner, Grindsgatan 35, Stockholm. The album features original artwork by internationally acclaimed Swedish cartoonist Max Andersson who was allowed to freely elaborate on the metafictional setting, the lyrics and music and the ideas involved in the musical process with excellent results. The striking design forms an integral part of the album package
Andersson’s work can be found here: https://www.instagram.com/maxandersson.ink/
Lucifers Lovsång - Bucifer
Lucifers Lovsång - Lucifers Lovsång