Three years have passed since Christian Kjellvander released his latest record: 2007’s “I Saw Her From Here/I Saw Here From Her”. To some this might seem like a long time. To others this might seem like yesterday. Time is relative. Some even say it’s relative to how fast your heart beats – but that’s another story.
Christian Kjellvander spent the majority of these past years collecting stories from the road, the country, the city and the sea. For two years he toured with his band and/or his family playing everywhere from the finest concert halls, rooftops of Parisian highrises to the livingrooms and backyards of music enthusiasts in North America and Europe. Christian travels – bringing his baggage to anyone who will listen, or as Christian puts it: “It’s the only thing, besides family and friends, worth living for. And a good song can be done anywhere, anyhow.”
Returning from a three month North American tour Christian was more ambivalent than ever. In an email he sent from the North Atlantic he wrote of beautiful places, intelligent minds and warm hearts but also how sickened he felt by where he saw the world and himself heading. General consumtion growth, time-management, experience-greed, stimulance-junkies and other sorrows of the new world can truly bring a person down. He wrote he was heading out with his dogs to live in a tent for a few months. He said he needed to get away and wash off the dirt of the rough world.
Well, as far as I know he didn’t sleep one night in that tent. However, he did seek solitude in a small house in the country. Rebuilding an old barn by day and writing songs by night. Of course, he denies ever having written such an email. I wish I’d’ve saved it.
New songs started coming to him. Months in the country are like long drives: they do something to a person. You move without moving; keeping your eyes staight and your mind wandering. Recalling, rephrasing, realizing.
I don’t see Christians records as islands anymore. It’s more like he is and has been writing a book where every song is a chapter. Neither he nor any other living soul knows how it will end, but the plot thickens for every song, every album.
This album is more than just another bunch of processed songs on tape. Unnecessities are put away and what’s left is captured moments in time. In this case Christian gathered his great band and recorded this album live over the course of five days. “With todays computer-aged recording technology anyone can be the Beatles – the hard part is being the Velvet Underground. Records are not, nor should they be, produced as anything more or less than documents of time”, says Christian.
The album was recorded in Rynge Castle, which is basically just a barn by a house in a small village along a train track. This is close to home. This is as real as it gets.
Some might see this as a step back. Some might see this as a step forward. From this artist’s perspective this was the only step worth taking.