17 Sep 2006

Helena Josefsson, backing singer at Malmö's studios (VII): District 1269 - Summertown, summer flop?

On July 1st 2006, District 1269 (Yonaz Grauholtz + Chris Jersey + Nick Raven), the band from Malmö, released their first single, "Summertown", that includes two songs: "Summertown" (featuring Helena Josefsson) and "As Happy as Me". The songs were recorded at Wonderland Studio, Malmö, with the producer Krister Larsson (Fast Future Records) in two very intense moths (April-May 2006). Yonaz and Chris initial happiness soon turned into sadness and sorrow, since Krister wanted to record dance, while they wanted to make more rock influenced music. They simply didn't get along with their ideas, and according to them, many verbal fights have occurred in the studio.

2006 - District 1269

The band the CD cover photos in Copenhagen and the single has become available in the Wonderland Studio official site and in iTunes. But Yonaz and Chris are not happy at all with the promotion of the single: the result of the single became a sad compromise, which nor the band or the record company were actually satisfied with. Despite this, Summertown has been played in a few local radio channels in Sweden this summer (thanks to Yonaz, not the record company). You can listen to it in District 1269's myspace.

15 Sep 2006

Sandy Mouche's poems grow up abroad (IV): Johanneskyrkan, Malmö ... but focusing on countries outside of Sweden

* Johanneskyrkan, Malmö 2006 · 09 · 15

Comments by fans:

I went to Johanneskyrkan's concert in Malmö. It was huge and special: the music went directly into the heart!
Helena was very nice and gorgeous and talk with me and my friend. We had very happy days together and listened to Sandy Mouche's music.

Hälsningar från holland :)

Saar (aka Sarah den Rara),
from Alkmaar, Netherlands

Thank you for being in Johanneskyrkan. Some news for you beautiful fans... We are right now focusing on countries outside of Sweden. This means that there will be no concerts for Sandy Mouche in Sweden for the time being.

Our solo projects are in the making.......

Per has recorded several songs in Swedish. Listen here.

Ola has recorded a few songs to. Listen here.

Martinique is in the studio right now recording four songs.

Helena has finished the recording of her solo album. The first single will be released in november. Listen here.
Martinique Josefsson (Sandy Mouche)

Adela Toplean wrote a great article about Sandy Mouche's albums. She is a very good writer, an even better painter and a fan of Sandy Mouche and Helena:

by Adela Toplean (September 16, 2006)

Yesterday evening, when I found out that Sandy Mouche was about to perform in Malmö, at Johanneskyrkan, it was already too late for me to get there. And pretty windy. And quite dark. Now, after more than 12 hours after the unseen event, when I’ve suddenly decided to write something about the greatest little band in Sweden, I’ve realized that I don’t really have any new Sandy Mouche-related ideas. I managed to shape and send all of them, months ago, to different destinations; from personal emails made for my friends’ eyes and personal conversations for my friends’ ears, to “sermons”, little reviews and guest books.

Now blogs have little to do with exclusivity. I need to believe (so please lie to me!) that mine is an exception: blurred, but spontaneous, not previously-thought (by me) no-man’s-land’s ideas, a place where I systematically (and dynamically) avoid my two basic preoccupations (and extremes): getting heavily theoretical and giving up to creative writing.

But how could I then justify the presence - here and now - of my old opinions on Sandy Mouche? Sorry, I can't. But unfortunatelly I’ve got no new ones either. Helena´s upcoming album (I wish I would know more about it, but I don´t...) will probably wake me up in a flesh from my false apathy. And I can only imagine they've already agreed upon some more mesmerizing ideas to be brought out for her solo album. However, in the mean time, here are a few of my old, but unworn Sandy Mouche-concerned sparks.

Unaltered musical instinct: Sandy Mouche, consisting in one girl and three boys, is (still) a somehow girlish band that cultivates a devastating excellence. I assume they did it both consciously and unconsciously; and in a very mature manner. I do not feel any groping in the way they write, sing and perform, as if they'd know very well how the tunes should sound like. Their inspiration has a "direction" which is, beyond doubt, something of extreme rarity. Some composers and singers are struggling half a life to dare to express themselves this way and also to dare to close a personal circuit showing their listeners that they have a coherent inspiration. Most of them are only able to give off sparks instead of a well defined "vision". What a huge difference to be noted between those who only (and quite easily) react through music and those who are actually able to shoulder and express a musical perspective that lays in themselves!...

The albums... Helena Josefsson´s voice, if I am allowed to slide down the lyricism, gives the impression of a sort of airy/watery medium, a container for Martinique's voice that floats and flies within, drawing gentle (but well-defined!!) lines. It's not a matter of combining or blending two kinds of voices so it is nonsensical to discuss whether they fit or not (they rather not...); because it is not about fitting, but about a mysterious way of containing each other. If you’d give it a listen, my words would sound less precious and more accurate.

Giving particular attention to each of their albums (White Lucky Dragon and ...and poems for the unborn), I could say that the latter pays more tribute to undertones of all kinds. It’d be almost vulgar to note that it is a more mature album, since it chronologically and logically comes after White Lucky Dragon. But I don’t know if it’s really (or only) about getting more mature musically. It’s like Helena and Martin, after testing their human and musical skills of blending voices and personalities in their first album, are now paying a special attention to emphasizing the other’s musical presence ; it’s like each of them, now having his and her very own musical standing point (“Spiderweb Suit”, “Fat”, “Fish Tale”, “Evening Wake, Morning Flake”), tries to contribute at the general coherence of the album through his and her very personal musical abilities. It’s like they grew on each other without the entangling efforts that seem quite clear in White Lucky Dragon. The song (single!) “Une Histoire” seems to hang between the two worlds; it sounds like making the linkage from one stage to another. So, as a conclusion, I believe that …and poems for the unborn gained in profound coherence while losing the surface smoothness of the White Lucky Dragon. Martinique’s voice from “Le Mistral” reminds me of the great steady voice of the latest Françoise Hardy and Helena´s voice never really reminds me of anyone else, except of herself. All my efforts to compare her with some other singer have, thank God, constantly failed. My absolute favorites: “Baby can’t stop”, “Fairies and Elves”, “White Lucky Dragon” and “Notes and Bills”.

Indie? After hearing their both albums, I felt like rejecting an – already unspecific if not directly annoying – label like indie. Because it's not particularly indie, it’s rather organic and emotional which are the attributes of any good music, regardless the stream; the year; the trends. It has an almost strange way of being exquisite, unexpected, straight, uncomplicated and sophisticated at the same time. The mélange tends to be a coherent paradox that could strike at least some of us.

It is also important to note (and to get amazed by) how Sandy Mouche have made me put aside any kind of "measurement" tools. Because I come, as a listener, from that wing of music still paying its tributes to the classic rock ´n roll, I could note that, in most of the cases I am familiar with, one can easily say what fits and what doesn't, what's coherent and “who” is the coherence spoiler, what drags him down and what pulls him up; but here, at Sandy Mouche, you have to give up anatomizing. It's not about cohesiveness and it's not about assortment either.

Their way of dressing doesn't even have to deal with their lyrics, they can freely go from an extreme to another, they could wear cowboy suits and come on stage riding horses, the very essence of Sandy Mouche is not altered. I know too little about them for really figuring out whether it comes from their pure talent or from their approaching the daily life (which probably requires just as much talent as music, by the way); many artists are getting personal, but that’s far from being the shortest way to good music. This being the case, I would assume that their manner of writing and performing is more about their being a unique filter-paper filtering the reality with fairy-tale-ish criteria. It must be all about Helena’s believing in elves...

All in all, the outcome is tender and easy-going at the surface, but it does conceal a definite soberness. It says a lot about the tragic and yet imponderable feeling of life.

Because I am very aware of the fact that singing and composing differently, or, from a more general perspective, doing things differently is NOT a guarantee in itself for creating a totally “something else”, I have never lent a generous ear to labels like indie. And whenever I did it, I’ve hardly had the impression of superiority; to my guess, it’s rather sad hearing too many people struggling to avoid a cliché, thuswise getting ridiculously intricate and incoherent. For such desperate moments, there’s always enough time and space to turn down the invitation and re-enter an open, old, secure backdoor to Harrison´s and/or Lennon´s universes...

“Making a difference” doesn’t necessarily imply a serious act of creation. Therefore, when stating the artfulness of Sandy Mouche, I was indeed expressing my amazement for realizing they’re not only making a difference (which can be quite easy from a certain point on), but also building a musical perspective of their own; and therefore it’s probably nonsense to talk about their music as opposing to the “main-stream” (whatever would that mean) since I do not hear in Sandy Mouche any definite breaking-ups with the good old pop; it’s rather about re-thinking and re-sorting out its elements – something that any creator, regardless the stream, should do in order to become

1. plausible,

2. original and

3. lovable by others’ ears. If the wind is auspicious.
Adela Toplean
Adela Toplean - A_T_ blog

14 Sep 2006

Sandy Mouche's poems grow up abroad (III): à Paris, La Flèche D’Or (September 2006)

Promotion in France (I)

* La Flèche D´Or, Paris 2006 · 09 · 13
102 bis rue de Bagnolet, Paris 20e
"Free Entrance! We play with: Little, Katel, David Haircut Ltd (France) and The Tellers (Belgium)"

Pictures taken by www.sandymouche.com

During the promo trip in France (September 2006), Martinique and Helena in France was interviewed ¡in French! by Radio Neo

Our first interview in France and in French =)

The already world wide known interview from Radio Neo. Listen here.

Martinique and I go to Paris to talk and sing on the radio! Our main goal will be to make great duo versions of Sandy songs and to visit some real Parisian cafés and the Eiffel tower of course, 'cause we have never been in Paris! It will be very very cosy I hope and believe!

Have a lovely day !!
Helena Josefsson (Sandy Mouche)

Natacha Sardou, French fan (Paris, September 2006) - by sandymouche.com (3)

Natacha Sardou, French fan (Paris, September 2006) - by sandymouche.com (1)

5 Sep 2006

The Good Mornings back ... for a while

The Good Mornings, the Swedish band leaded by Dan Bornemark and Helena Josefsson between 1999 and 2001, have got their small revival. The band included Helena Josefsson (lead vocals), Dan Bornemark (keyboards, vocals, music), Jens Ståhlstierna (guitar, vocals), Figge von Wachenfeldt (keyboards, vocals), Rasmus Kihlberg (drums), Bosse Håkansson (percussion) and Björn Gustavsson (bass).

A song has been lately re-recorded in 2005 adding backing vocals by John P. Weathers (original drumer of Gentle Giant). It is Let Truth Reveal the Beast (Bornemark/Josefsson) and is now included as the opening track in the Giant for another hour CD (a tribute to Gentle Giant released on 31st August 2006). These are the credits of the song: Helena Josefsson: lead vocal; Paul Hoffax: guitar; Bengt Johnson: drums; Dan Bornemark: all other sounds except: John P. Weathers: additional backing vocals. You can listen to the song here: Giant Hour 2 (CD Baby)

Dan Bornemark wrote:

"Recorded in 1999 during our wonderful project 'The Good Mornings.' Dedicated to Tobbe Russlander and his right to be a father. Tobbe is still not wanted as the father he is."