Back in late January Swedish duo Club 8, the two decades young project of Johan Angergård and Karolina Komstedt release their 10th album Golden Island. A departure of sorts from previous releases, this is a quietly aspirational and delicately transformative record of sorts with its New Age employment of world music motifs and geographically specific instrumentation.
These qualities and elements in western pop hands with their tendency for introspection and to outwardly hanker after intangibles could have easily overshadowed all else in both scope and delivery on the album. But with Angergard and Komstedt, songwriting and delivery wise, Golden Island offers a lesson in the application of subtle thought, nuance and restraint. They understand the importance of time and space and know that just because something is close handy doesn’t mean it has to be deployed. Whether its Angergård’s fine electronic touches which enter and exit at just the right time or Komstedt’s fragile like vocal apparitions which glide in and out of proceedings, unsurprisingly after 22 years at this and many other musical projects, they prove both self aware and grounded.
When the meditative and understated first single ‘Breathe‘ was released last year it was to prove instructive in its pointers to what the rest of the album would be like not in form but intention. With its unassuming swagger, celebratory horns and breathy vocals, second single ‘Fire’ is just as telling in its widescreen restraint. This is very much a personal record and not one that readily reaches out and tries to make any particular impression. There’s a feeling that while both still yearn for warm thematic climes and sonic extension, there’s undoubtedly a comfortability in the challenge they’d set for themselves here. For all the experimentation, what Ångergard and Komstedt have delivered suggests they are more than content to constantly shift where they’re at musically. And rather than demand or attempt to cultivate the listeners presence and attention, they simply issue a gentle invitation and leave the response entirely in the hands of its receipient.
Listen to ‘Fire’ below and grab a copy of the album here. It’s out through Labrador Records.
Club 8 (SWE)
From the album, ‘Golden Island’, Labrador.
Club 8 Facebook