The new album from Christian Kjellvander dropped yesterday and while you might not know that name, you really should. His new record is a striking collection of equally striking music full of drama and depth.
A Village: Natural Light, out now on Tapete Records, is an album of rich musicality. If stuff like "Dark Ain't That Dark" marginally recalls Bon Iver and Iron and Wine material, it's also uniquely different, drawing on other traditions than those which informed the work of those artists. On the ominous "Riders in the Rain", Kjellvander wraps his rich tenor around a tune that smoothly flows like a late period Nick Cave composition. Elsewhere, on the wonderfully-titled "Misanthrope River", Kjellvander allows the subtle instrumentation to exert as much of an effect as his wonderful voice. On "Good Child" there's something unsettling bubbling slowly under the surface of the cut. And on elegiac closer "Gallow", Kjellvander allows A Village: Natural Light to end on a slightly upbeat note as the tune seems somehow more uplifting than those which came before. All that isn't to say that this is depressing music but that it's dour and yet hopeful stuff that all showcases Kjellvander's beautiful voice and the ornate instrumentation behind it.
A Village: Natural Light is out now on Tapete Records. Check out the website of the label for more details.
[Photo: Simon Fessler]