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"Spirit Tree" to swoisty muzyczny alfabet duńskiej songwriterki Kiry Skov. Gwiazdozbiór muzycznych osobowości zaproszonych do studia wiele mówi o jej pozycji na muzycznej scenie światowej alternatywy. Z jeden strony tuzy amerykańskiej sceny niezależnej - jeden z pionierów lo-fi Bill Callahan, znany ze Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age Mark Lanegan, John Parish z kolei to współpracownik PJ Harvey, Tracy Chapman, Eels. Do tego Bonnie "Prince" Billy, absolutny freak amerykańskiej kultury i gitarzysta Lenny Kaye, znany ze współpracy z Patti Smith, Soul Asylum, Allenem Ginsbergiem ... każda piosenka Kiry Skov jest osobnym światem, a każdy album to konstelacja połączonych ze sobą światów...
Indie Pop / Avant Pop / Muzyka alternatywna
premiera polska: 2021-06-21,
opakowanie: digipackowe etui
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"Spirit Tree" to swoisty muzyczny alfabet duńskiej songwriterki Kiry Skov. Gwiazdozbiór muzycznych osobowości zaproszonych do studia wiele mówi o jej pozycji na muzycznej scenie światowej alternatywy.
Z jeden strony tuzy amerykańskiej sceny niezależnej - jeden z pionierów lo-fi Bill Callahan (Smog), znany ze Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age - Mark Lanegan, John Parish z kolei to współpracownik PJ Harvey, Tracy Chapman, Eels, Giant Sand, Aldous Harding, Sixteen Horsepower czy Sparklehorse. Do tego Bonnie "Prince" Billy alias Will Oldham, absolutny freak amerykańskiej kultury i gitarzysta Lenny Kaye, znany ze współpracy z Patti Smith, Soul Asylum, Allenem Ginsbergiem i James.
Na "Spirit Tree" są też europejskie konary, a to Marie Fisker, z którą Kira nagrała wyśmienity "The Cabin Project" czy Mette Lindberg - charyzmatyczna wokalistka The Asteroids Galaxy Tour.
Do tego nowe twarze czułej alternatywy jak Stine Gron i Teitur. Wyborni instrumentaliści jak basista Anders Christensen, skrzypaczka Maria Jagd, saksofonista Ned Ferm, trębacz Tobias Wiklund, puzonista Mads Hyhne czy gitarzysta Oliver Hoiness.
Także dzięki nim każda piosenka Kiry Skov jest osobnym światem, a każdy album to konstelacja połączonych ze sobą światów. Najnowsza płyta, nad którą pracowała dwa lata to swoista podróż po najgłębszych zakamarkach jej myśli. Od pełnych ascetycznej wręcz powściągliwości "Idea Of Love" z Markiem Laneganem po skądinąd fantastyczne, przebogate "Horses" z Jenny'm Wilsonem i Johnem Parishem. Na "Pick Me Up" z kolei po raz pierwszy chyba dotąd pojawia się mgławicowy folk skandynawski za sprawą wokalizy Stine Gron i skrzypiec Maii Jagd.
Całość tego wyjątkowego materiału pomimo misternie budowanych aranżacji emanuje charakterystyczną dla Kiry Skov brzmieniową surowością.
Gwiazdozbiór muzycznych osobowości Kiry Skov, które spotkać można na jej nowej płycie powstawał przez dwa lata. Z większością z nich pracowała już wcześniej, spotykamy ich na jej poprzednich płytach. Wszystko to słychać na płycie, dlatego pewnie tak wiele tutaj magicznego uroku i niewymuszonej elegancji.
Na koniec można tylko dodać, że jak zwykle w przypadku płyt Kiry Skov całość piosenkowego programu układa się w ciąg, który mocno przyciąga i każe słuchać krążka do samego końca.
autor: Marek Wieruszewski
Copyright © 1996-2021 Multikulti Project. All rights reserved
Last year, when the pandemic struck and sent the whole world into a lockdown as well as entire populations into isolation – Kira Skov felt compelled to reach out with her music. And so, the Danish singer and songwriter did just that, making contact with vocalists and instrumentalists she had worked with in the past, as well as others she had admired from afar. A new project was born and despite the sometimes-vast geographical distances between the musicians, they set out together to search for and forge meaning in an otherwise meaningless time.
The ambitious venture was a success, with everyone approached coming aboard. The powerful resulting album of duets is now ready for release and features wonderfully personal contributions from familiar and fresh musical personalities including Jenny Wilson, Mark Lanegan, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, John Parish, Bill Callahan, and Lionel Liminana, as well as Mette Lindberg, Marie Fisker, Stine Gron, and Steen Jorgensen.
“The album came into being through, and as, a musical exchange – in the sense that I’ve sent the songs around to people as audio files, with the different guests adding vocals as we went. The ground-tapes were all recorded live in Copenhagen. I’m very happy that everyone wanted to join,” Kira shares.
The Danish singer – who has built up a large and loyal audience in her home country throughout a musically diverse 20-year career – values collaboration in her music. She’s already worked with Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Tricky, Lenny Kaye, and Trentemoller, among others, but until now had never cultivated such a musically communal album as this new collection of duets, entitled SPIRIT TREE.
“There’s a common theme on the record that manifests itself both sonically and thematically. In a way, it’s a family tree, in that I work with some people who have left their mark on me and my music over the years. The pandemic made me think about what is most important to us… what is it that connects us when we are all forced to be alone. These songs are written with that in mind,” she says.
For this recording, Kira is once again joined by the band which has maintained a steady presence on her albums and tours over the last few years: Silas Tinglef on drums and guitar, Anders “AC” Christensen on bass and piano, Oliver Hoiness on guitar and keys, Maria Jagd on violin, and the bandleader and songwriter herself on vocals and guitar. The songs were recorded at STC Studio by Mads Moldgard, with Kira Skov and Silas Tinglef co-producing.
The singles “We Won’t Go Quietly” with Bonnie “Prince”
Billy and Dusty Kate (an homage to Dusty Springfield and Kate Bush) with Mette Lindberg have already been released to hungry ears and critical acclaim in the lead-up to SPIRIT TREE, which will be released in its entirety on May 14th on Sundance / Stunt Records.
We Won’t Go Quietly – featuring Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy
I wrote this song during the first part of the lockdown, in solidarity with the movement that followed the public murder of George Floyd. It’s both a protest song and a reflection on the human trauma loop, in which history repeats itself over and over again. We deliberately chose to preserve the raw sound from the original demo recording. I tried to create a mood of ‘a window, open to the world…’ with people shouting and cars driving by. The song was recorded with a single microphone in the small country house where I ended up writing a lot of the material for this album. There’s a roots-music-mentality in the production, and we decided to work with it, building on the original demo recording. We reconstructed the B-part of the song, and sent it to Bonnie “Prince” Billy (Will Oldham) who added vocals from his home in Kentucky. Will’s voice has a very special energy – there’s something ethereal about his singing, and I knew he was a perfect choice to convey the unifying message in the lyrics. He also appeared on THE ECHO OF YOU, where we sang the title track and Lilac Sky together.
In The End – featuring Steen Jorgensen
I’ve worked with Steen several times and I think he’s one of the most significant voices we have in Denmark. He started out in the iconic punk group “The Sods,” but over the years he has grown to become quite the crooner, a tradition that harkens back to later-period Leonard Cohen. They both share a bit of the same deep, powerful masculinity in their voices. The song illustrates the dance between the man and woman and the energy it triggers with a slight wink.
Dusty Kate – featuring Mette Lindberg
A tribute to two iconic singers, Dusty Springfield and Kate Bush, in a duet with Mette Lindberg (The Asteroids Galaxy Tour). As musical figures, Dusty and Kate have both had an impact on me as a songwriter and singer, as well as leaving their own unique and significant marks on music history. The idea for the song came one evening at my house where we had a little party with friends sitting around and singing. Mette’s vocals reminded me of Kate Bush and she sat there, so beautiful, like a shining light, inspiring me in the moment and through the next day, when I finished writing the song. I think it’s a perfect fit.
Pick Me Up – featuring Stine Gron
Stina Gron, who is one half of the highly celebrated duo, Irah, has an almost supernatural voice. It’s something very special that one could almost call “world singing” – unspecified and outside of linguistic conventions. It’s impossible to say exactly where it belongs or comes from – there’s something eastern about it, with a touch of Bulgaria or the Balkans. We sing the whole song together in an arrangement that lays her voice around mine like a blurred shadow. It’s more sounds than words, but has a beautiful effect. It’s a great gift to have Stine along on this song.
Idea Of Love – featuring Mark Lanegan
I’ve been a big fan of Mark Lanegan’s voice for a long time, although I had never had any direct contact with him before just recently. When we hooked up, he was very positive – he loved the project, and wanted to be a part of it. Instead of recording a new track, we decided on Idea of Love, which Mark really liked. This song is originally found on WHEN WE WERE GENTLE from 2013 and is the only song on the record that wasn’t composed for this release. I think this interpretation exudes a bit of late Johnny Cash from his American Recordings, and the song fits well with Mark’s voice.
Horses – featuring Jenny Wilson and John Parish
I didn’t know Jenny beforehand but have always been a fan of her as a performer and artist. The song has a lightness and optimistic tone to it, alternating between major and minor sections where John Parish’s voice appears in a smoldering low-end plea. The outreach piece is inspired by Martin Luther King’s speech with the iconic line: “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.” I think it has an uplifting, rebellious mood. The chorus of voices and the groove is both gloomy and almost danceable at the same time.
Tidal Heart – featuring Marie Fisker
Marie and I go way back. We have been friends since my early teens and have always shared something special. In 2014, we released a duo album entitled THE CABIN PROJECT and have developed an interplay in which our voices merge and become one as they move around each other. It’s liberating to sing together. Tidal Heart is another song about wanting to indulge in love, but not quite being able to. We all have a that tidal mechanism embedded within us. I think it’s a beautiful song that plays itself. Some Kind of Lovers – featuring Bonnie “Prince” Billy A love song. A snapshot of the fleeting moment when love is there and one can see what could be, but also realizes that it will never happen. It encapsulates the fleeting encounter which is stated in the title. Not an enduring affair, but a moment with its function.
Love Is A Force – featuring Stine Green and Bill Callahan
Thematically in line with the two previous tracks. A reflection on love as a force. It can be both destructive and has the power to lift the darkness. We try to illustrate this in the music, in a meeting between two polar opposites. One can almost hear the disintegration of relationships and conventions in music. It moves from something smoldering and ominous to something bright and spherical. Stine’s light voice and Bill’s iconic dark timbre function as positive commentary, eventually arriving – with a sense of wonder – at what we thought we would have learned, but which in reality isn’t permanently understood, even as we grow older.
Deep Poetry – featuring Lionel Liminana
I wrote the music for the first part of this song with Silas Tinglef. We sent the material to Lionel, who then wrote his part by responding in his native French tongue. The goal was that he should come up with a commentary that would be added to the song. Lionel says he can’t sing, so he does more of a close-speaking role. I really like his contribution!
Burn Down The House – featuring Marie Fisker
A song about sunken love that also becomes a showdown with time – burn it all down and move on. Melodically, it is built up like a classic evergreen. Billie Holiday hovers into Tom Waits singing Waltzing Matilda. It’s somewhat jazzy and rocking, swampy. Lady Day has left her mark.
Ode To The Poets – featuring Mette Lindberg
The song emerged as an imagined dialogue between Jack Kerouac and Dylan Thomas. The two poets speak from different universes and both have something to say from their respective times and places. It’s a tribute to various poets and writers who have been important to me – summing up the energy of this album as a form of family tree, grown out of various sources of inspiration. I think it makes sense that it’s Mette who sings a song about “The Grand Old Men” because she has that lightness in her and thematically, we build from our homage to iconic woman, here giving it up for the strong male literary voices.
Marie – featuring John Parish
A declaration of love to my sweetest friend, Marie Fisker. Slightly naive and unpretentious in its form. A simple song, perfect for John’s voice, so I ended up just singing on the choruses and am very happy with the way it turned out.
Theme for Lenny – featuring Lenny Kaye
It’s not a song, but rather a theme I wrote and which now functions as the conclusion to the record. Lenny Kaye has been a dear friend for many years and is an incredibly wise and knowledgeable guy. He’s music historian who has written several books about the American music culture and who, in addition to being a regular guitarist for Patti Smith throughout her career, has also written for Rolling Stone Magazine for more than 30 years. Here, he performs a form of Spoken Word with free association over the theme of “duets.” It’s a nice ending that sort of sums up the whole project to me!
Kira Skov: vocal
Bonnie “Prince” Billy: Vocal
Stine Gron: Vocal
Steen Jorgensen: Vocal
Bill Callahan: Vocal
Mette Lindberg: Vocal
Mark Lanegan: Vocal
John Parish: Vocal
Jenny Wilson: Vocal
Marie Fisker: Vocal
Lionel Liminana: Vocal
Lenny Kaye: Vocal
Silas Tinglef: Drums and guitar
AC, Anders Christensen: Bass
Oliver Hoiness: Guitar keys
Maria Jagd: violin
Nicolai Torp: piano
Tobias Wiklund: trumpet
Ned Ferm: saxophone
Mads Hyhne: trombone
1. We Won’t Go Quietly
2. In The End
3. Dusty Kate
4. Pick Me Up
5. Idea Of Love
7. Tidal Heart
8. Some Kind Of Lovers
9. Love Is A Force
10. Deep Poetry
11. Burn Down The House
12. Ode To The Poets
14. Lenny’s Theme
more info: www.sundance.dk
- Stunt Records (DK)
- Kira Skov featuring Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Mark Lanegan, John Parish, Bill Callahan, Marie Fisker, Jenny Wilson, Steen Jorgensen, Mette Lindberg