'All The Time In The World'
Yes - introducing two albums in one item! Simply because Jonas Carping is the main singer-songwriter of Swedish band The Glade and he also made a solo album. Jonas approached me about his music long before anything was officially released. After listening for a little bit, I decided I really wanted to have this for airplay and I downloaded a file of what would become 'All The Time In The World'. Easier said than done: my old computer detected Mac as well as PC files and then he goes totally haywire... After a lengthy struggle and even a rebooting process, I saved computer's life as well as the correct files. World be warned: I will never do this again! But I'm still glad it worked out - as the music Jonas sent was totally worth all the trouble!
Jonas is originally from the town Staffanstorp in the province Skåne län, but he often stays in Stockholm. Besides his work in the band The Glade, he wanted to release some songs that somehow fitted less in their format. First there was an EP 'Underground' and then the full album came about. Jonas mentions Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen as sources of inspiration, both have distinctive voices and I'm a big fan too - but Jonas can SING. His voice has it all: beauty, warmth, timbre, power, resonance, emotion... He could even sing the phonebook and get applause!
We don't have to settle for the phonebook - Jonas writes great songs too! The music has an acoustic feeling between altcountry and folkrock, it is not too complicated and smartly used to frame the feelings in the songs. Melodious, melancholic, a bit dark and sad sometimes, just like human emotions. Jonas himself plays the acoustic and solo guitars, harmonica, e-bow and mandolin. Multi-instrumentalist Martin Karlsson has bass, percussion and guitars (electric, acoustic, slide, tremolo, solo) behind his name, he was the co-writer for the song "Underground". Sofie Dahlin plays violin and Marika Dahlbäck cello. Sigrid 'Snäckan' Nilsson sings a beautiful duet vocal on "The Sting" and other backing vocals are provided by Anna Wessberg. David Sjölund plays pedal steel guitar and Jonas Siikanen djembe.
In the lyrics Jonas Carping makes the connection with his listeners. We can all relate to stories about a relationship, either romantic or friendly, can't we? The worries, doubts, pain, loneliness & longing. The concept of the album is: "A story of hope but also of loss of hope and finding it again at places not always expected.” Last song "Leaving Now" with the driving rhythm of the djembe leaves us longing for more and reaching for the repeat button.
The CD looks intriguing enough too, with the detailed collage of portraits, featuring Jonas himself several times. The liner notes end with a quote by Neil Young: 'Hey hey, my my, rock 'n roll can never die'.
So... let's go on to the second album: 'What Turns On The Lights' by alternative folkrock band The Glade! They started out in 2008 and after four strategically released singles they're presenting us now with their official full debut album. Jonas Carping sings, his voice being the strongest asset of this band, he plays acoustic guitar and wrote all the songs, except folkpop track "Sometimes", written and sung by Nils Janlöv, the leadguitarist. Tobias (Tobbe) Gustavsson is the bassist and we also find Martin Karlsson back here, although he only plays drums and percussion now. Maria Thorstensson guests on the Wurlitzer piano and organ. Vocalist Sigrid, Sofie (violin) and Marika (cello) return here too. The sound is not totally different from the solo album, just fuller, often rocking out on the variety of catchy melodies. In their own words: "The Glade plays melodic rock music with heavy folk influences. There’s traces of traditional Swedish singer songwriter music, there’s good ol’ Rock’n roll, there’s folk/country music and there might even be some grunge in there. Some widely known influences are Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen and Noel Gallagher." In contrary with the mostly happy, upbeat sound is the contemplating melancholy of the lyrics. Convincing, like Jonas lived through it all himself, searching for the truth, for hope and happiness, reaching back for memories. Poetic in its imagery and metaphors. For a person using English as a second language, this is top quality! The use of words as well as the very natural pronounciation, Jonas made it all his own.
All songs have a constant quality, absolutely no fillers here! My favorite part of a review > the lyrics quote. "There’s no qualification, there’s no end to approve, we don’t live by their standards, we don’t follow their rules, the colorful life, it is reached by a few, you should try with everything that you have, but if that won’t do, then - we are the fools, we dance for love, someday love will rule this world." From my favorite "Dance For Love" - something Bono didn't come up with, yet.
In the words of the band again: "The Glade wants to mediate a message about the importance of doing what you feel is right, for you and for others. The band live by this and that’s why we sound like we do. The Glade urges anyone who cares to listen to follow their heart too."
I don't know what's in the Swedish water - there are so many good musicians in the population of only nine point six million, but I would say: "Keep drinking that water!"
Written by Johanna J. Bodde - September 2nd, 2014.