was always a legendary hub of pop, rock and jazz music. Although known
to informed international music fans for their amazing instrumental
rock fusion and jazz-rock artists, Sweden continues to be an epic
source of 21st century pop and rock. The best of Swedens current
indy artists are compiled on a 17 track, 70 minute 2014 compilation
from the powerhouse label team of Hemifrån and Paraply Records.
Home Is Where The Heart Is features a wide range of
established as well as promising pop and rock artists. Kicking off
with a guitar instrumental by Pontus Swanberg, the CD moves
quickly onto the latest pop classic from renowned Swedish pop pundit
Klas Qvist, and his Citizen K outfit, called Our
Town. Also here is a fine new track entitled Spiders,
from an interesting band called A Sister Or Two. Home
Is Where The Heart Is
does a fine job representing a wide range of pop artists from Sweden
and obviously says a lot about the state of the art of 21st century
pop music from the Scandinavian stronghold. Home Is Where The Heart
Is closes out with another instrumental, this time by an artist
called Berra Karlsson, while Berras sister, singer Cina
Samuelson is also
featured on this CD with a fine country-pop track, This Country
Girl, that sounds like it came straight out of Nashville. The
CD packaging of this compilation album is first rate with its unconventional
yet highly effective artwork and insert. Scandinavian and international
music fans, dont miss the unique and catchy pop-rock experience
of Home Is Where The Heart Is. www.hemifran.com
mwe3.com presents an interview with
Åke Strömberg and Joakim Lövgren
of Paraply Records
What inspired the new Hemifrån / Paraply Records compilation
CD Home Is Where The Heart Is? Sounds like you pulled out all
the stops on this one! Is there a concept running through this album
and who were the producers and executive producers? Did you have a
clear direction as far as what artists you wanted on the CD?
Paraply: The initial idea came from our dear friend and companion
Peter Holmstedt, the master of compilations. He suggested we put together
an album consisting solely of contributions from Borås musicians.
The idea was, as always, to include previously unreleased music. So
we started mailing and calling people that we liked and thought would
be appropriate for the album, people like Cina Samuelson, Ulrik Arturén,
Andreas Filipsson, the Liljegren sisters (A Sister Or 2) etc.
is no specific concept running through the CD. It might even appear
a bit sketchy as a whole, but thats the point. The sound of
Borås is varied and broad. The tracks are mainly produced or
co-produced by the artists themselves. Tobias Walka did all the mastering,
making the project cohesive.
mwe3: The first track on Home Is Where The Heart Is
is an instrumental by Pontus Swanberg. Can you tell us about him?
Why only one instrumental on this CD? Is there a place for more instrumental
music in the world of both Hemifrån and Paraply Records?
Paraply: Theres two actually. The closing track, Berra
Karlssons contribution, has no vocals on it. Absolutely! Were
open to anything as long as its good music, with or without
Pontus is something of a showman. Every sound he creates, percussive
sounds, terrific baselines and piano-like chords, he does with an
acoustic guitar and some amplification. Thats it. His tunings
are idiosyncratic to say the least.
The Citizen K track on Home Is Where The Heart Is, Our
Town is about his hometown Borås. Can you tell us something
more about Borås and the connection on this CD and is Klas planning
to release his new album anytime soon? What kind of direction is Klas
planning to take his music next? How are you planning to make his
music more popular, is there a strategy?
Paraply: Borås has always been a town with high musical
activity. But opportunities outside Borås have mostly been limited.
There are many musicians; instrumentalists, singers, songwriters etc,
but the entrepreneurship among the musicians is, unfortunately, virtually
nil. Over the years, theres been tons of good music that simply
ended up on bad cassette tapes in peoples living rooms in Borås.
The only actual connection throughout the CD is that every player
has lived or still lives in Borås.
Theres no release date for a Citizen K album yet. Theres
still a lot of work to be done and its a slow and painful process.
The record will contain more of everything, wider mood swings. Its
the double album to end all double albums. If Citizen K finds a more
satisfactory method of working, he might continue. Then we can start
talking about directions.
Another interesting track here is a song by a pair of singers who
call themselves A Sister Or Two. Can you tell us about A Sister Or
Two? I was thinking about the Lovely Rita connection!
Didnt Klas Qvist have a hand on A Sister Or 2?
Paraply: Yes indeed. Klas is the producer and he plays a number
of instruments. Youre absolutely right about the Lovely
Rita connection. When Klas got in touch with the two sisters,
a third sister drifted in and out of the picture sometimes
a member, sometimes not a member. Therefore, Klas came up with the
name A Sister Or 2, consciously picked from a verse of Lovely
Rita since the girls were knocked-out Beatles fans. They liked
the name and started using it.
mwe3: Can you tell us about Paraply Records? When was it formed
and is there a musical ethic that is followed when the Paraply signs
or record an artist? Paraply means Umbrella in English. Is Paraply
an umbrella label for artists? A safety net?
Paraply: Paraply was formed in 2002 as a network for three
different studios to help launch a bunch of demos. There was no record
company worth mentioning in Borås, so when releasing the Carried
Away album by Klas Qvist in 2004 Paraply Records emerged as the
only Music from Borås alternative.
only ethic we can think of in this case is that we like and believe
intensely in everything we release. We seldom, if ever, think of the
commercial value of it, just the artistic value. Consequently, were
not exactly rolling in dollars, not even close to.
mwe3: What are the most recent Paraply CD releases and also
what CD titles do you have planned for 2014 and 2015? Also can you
tell us something about the very cool artwork on Home Is Where
The Heart Is and also something about that very cool black vinyl
looking CD pressings! Are the black vinyl looking Paraply CDs pressed
in Sweden or elsewhere?
Paraply: Fairly recently, roughly a year ago, Mikael Persson
released an EP and an album on Paraply. Then, there was Citizen Ks
EP and The Golden Demon. We also released Ulrik Arturéns
debut, a 4-track EP earlier this year.
Were planning Pelle Johansons debut as a recording artist
due for release next year. Hopefully, Citizen K will be ready next
year too, but its not down to him or the label. Its down
to his producer.
Peter Holmstedt and Mikael Persson are the men responsible for the
artwork. They just stumbled upon the black vinyl CD when it came time
to do the artwork for Meet Citizen K. A CD plant, maybe even
here in Borås, offered the vinyl thing and it has sort of stuck
with us ever since.
How are you planning to bring the names of these artists on Home
Is Where The Heart Is more into the public ear and what fresh
and new musical directions and trends are you looking for and hoping
for in Sweden and all over the world as we move towards 2020?
Paraply: The promotional side of things always leaves a lot
to be desired. To coincide with the release of the compilation, Paraply
and Hemifrån in association with a couple of others, have arranged
a series of gigs around Borås, mainly to present the artists
live. Once a month, from February through to April for instance, there
was an event built as Minstrel In The Gallery, named so because it
was a selection of the albums artists, playing intimate, mainly
acoustic sets in a newly opened fashion gallery. That could easily
be seen as the biggest Paraply-related event so far.
also planning to present a number of Borås best and brightest
singers, songwriters and bands at Live At Heart 2015 in Örebro,
sort of the Swedish equivalence to South By South West.
For Paraply, theres a lot more to be done in order to present
our music outside Borås. A compilation, a couple of releases
of the artists themselves and the odd promotional gig is just the
tip of the iceberg of what needs to be done here.
foresee a huge tsunami of progressive and psychedelic music washing
the whole world, and as 2020 approaches, backward guitars, Hammond
organs and mellotrons will dominate the sonic landscape. There might
be some hip-hop, house and radio-friendly country around, but its
mostly for the older and nostalgic listeners.
Photo credits (from top): Åke Strömberg
(left) and Joakim Lövgren (center) of Paraply, Pontus Swanberg,
Klas Qvist, A Sister Or Two, Cina Samuelson, Pelle Johanson and Peter
Thanks to Peter Holmstedt of Hemifrån
and Åke Strömberg and Joakim Lövgren of Paraply