Sadness Be Gone

Written by: BV on 29/06/2014 20:59:32

I have an immensely soft spot for downer-folk, loner-psych and everything remotely DIY. That’s why it should come as no surprise to anyone that, upon realizing Swedish label Kommun2 had put out a new record from Anders Stub, former member of On Trial, I simply had to have it. There’s a sort of eerie simplicity to Anders’ approach when it comes to both songwriting, recording techniques and, well, his playing in general. Opting to play all instruments himself, save for the guest appearances from The Hobbit and Morten Aron of Spids Nøgenhat, one could argue that some of these compositions come off as generally thought through – whilst others retain that special ‘created on a whim’ vibe.

Album opener “In Silence and In Tears” has a solidly melancholic groove going with the lyric “everything was broken for many, many years” while the crunchy, yet unnervingly simple riff drives the slow rocker forward. There is a peculiar, lightly distorted lead line that occasionally rears its head to emphasize the mood of the song. The playing is not tight per se but it is quite evident that these recordings have been done wholly on Anders’ terms to fit the sound he was going for: from the lazily melancholic moods over the distorted echoes of the lead guitar – it might not be a slick pop-production, but in many ways I would argue that is has been given just as much thought.

With the blissful “I Keep My Eyes Wide Open” Anders reaches an incredibly early highlight. Featuring performances from both Aron and The Hobbit of Spids Nøgenhat, the effort sounds a bit different from the remainder of the album. In some ways it has a fuller soundscape but in reality it is not the sound, but the song itself which stands out as an entirely unique highlight. Anders’ smooth, almost chanted vocals are hugely enticing and the mellow mood of the soundscape practically begs for the listener to be lying on the floor in a darkened room with the record player next to them – just taking in all these vibes while pondering various aspects of life. In many ways I guess that’s what is so unique about Anders’ approach to the whole DIY loner-folk setting. It’s introverted as per standard arrangement – but there’s also a slight pop-sensibility and a general flair for compelling songwriting that lures the listener in and envelops the room in the vibe that is being conveyed by the track – predominantly that of a melancholic variant.

Anders reaches another highlight on the beautiful title track which has an eerie, slow intro that eventually leads in to a paranoia trip of a track that is fueled by a fuzzy bassline and a simple chord progression. The lyrics are slightly cryptic and constantly find themselves returning to the key phrase of this melancholia laden album; “Sadness Be Gone”. In essence, the album is definitely depressing at some points and might not exactly be easy to get into. However, as soon as the dark, enticing and ominous lyrics and sounds envelop you, it’s remarkably hard to let go of the album. I’ve heard my fair share of home-recordings, DIY projects, loner-folk and downer-psych albums in my time – but this is by far one of the most interesting albums that have come out from that ‘scene’ in recent years. The album is, unfortunately, limited to 298 copies so getting one might not be the easiest thing in the world – but in my opinion it is most definitely worth the hassle.


Download: In Silence and In Tears, I Keep My Eyes Wide Open, Sadness Be Gone, The Fine Line
For the fans of: Aron, Pandemonica, Tobias

Release date 10.05.2014
Kommun2 / Svensk Psyche Aften

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