I fell in love last Saturday. I can pinpoint the moment when I did.
Luckily I fell in love with a band (maybe a little bit with the people in it too, you can never be entirely sure with me.) Hey it was a small room and I was blown away.
The band is Moon Safari from Skellefteå in the north of Sweden. (You know how Stockholm is already quite far north? Drive north from there for 8 hours and you’re in Skellefteå.) At the gig, I was entirely unprepared – I went there to see the other band they were joint headlining with. I didn’t even know they were Swedish. Moon Safari played first and blew me away with the first few notes. It was amazing.
You’ll notice that I haven’t mentioned what kind of genre they’re in. I will say that because of the huge arrangements they really appeal to those who like progressive rock. I will also say that I’m not in that bracket, and I find that you might like them anyways. (I find ordering music in boxes quite pointless anyways. Don’t even get me started on ‘world music’.)
I’ve cycled through their albums on bandcamp and youtube a few hundred times since the gig [estimate]. I lived in Sweden for 7 years. Not as far north as that, I was on Smålandska Höglandet though, a kind of Swedish Highlands, and the winters get quite bad there too. A lot of the lyrics are a reminder of that lovely small town that you kinda want to get away from but also don’t want to get away from. My own hometown in Northern Germany is like that too. I can’t even have the lovely homecoming because literally everyone sensible has moved away. I’ve made some new friends there who I can see when I go home, but it’s not the same.
Would the music be the same if not for the long winter nights in that Northern Swedish town and the quite possibly depressing lack of other things to be doing? I don’t think so. Those vocal harmonies must have taken a long time to perfect. I’ve met lots of people and especially musicians while on tour with some other guitar-heavy bands in Sweden, I do think there’s a certain madness that comes with living in that climate. It can get very close to genius. (It can also result in something very dark, but this band is a total ray of sunshine, I promise.)
I’m so happy I have a new Swedish band to love. The last one I saw before I left was Bo Kaspers Orkester and that is really a long time ago.
Recommended listening: Heartland