25 Mar 2007

Helena's Dynamo (VII): Promo in Stockholm

Yesterday, Helena Josefsson promoted her new album in Stockholm. First, she played and signed at Nordiska Kompaniet (NK), the great old department store. Then, she had a TV promo at Bingo Royale (SVT1).

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away.
Now it looks as though they're here to stay.
Oh, I believe in yesterday.

Yesterday was such a lovely day. Good music and nice people all over and all my troubles just were forgotten for a while. Why can't it be like that forever? Music is one of those things that you just can live for. You don't need anything else. No love, No friends, nothing...The music is your biggest love, The music is your nearest friend. It's always there for you and it's never disappoint you. Live for the music and the music will make you live !!! PS. Buy Dynamo by Helena Josefsson and listen to Sleepyhead such a lovely song...I just bought it on that one. DS.

17 Mar 2007

The DollyCamp (II): Helena at Dolly Parton Tribute

Helena Josefsson played yesterday night at Debaser Medis in Stockholm, a concert in honour of Dolly Parton. Helena speaks in her website about the invited artists:
Dolly Parton Tribute! Robyn, Titiyo, Cecilia Nordlund, Tingsek, Lotta Wenglén, Fibes Oh Fibes, Nina Persson (from The Cardigans), Martinique Josefsson and the charming band with lots of wonderful musicians!
Robin Rumich took some great pics of the Gala.

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Helena with Tingsek: they had played together in the band ewing.1 when they were younger

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Helena with Nina Persson from The Cardigans

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Helena with Martinique

The director Jessica Nettelbladt recorded at this concert some scenes for a documentary film (defined as a "roadmovie" though) called "Den långa resan till Dollywood". Nina Persson, Helena Josefsson and other female singers from Malmö sing and talk in the film about the influence of their idol Dolly Parton. It seems a long project too, so it could be shown in 2008.

15 Mar 2007

Helena's Dynamo (VI): Swedish Charts and Reviews

Helena Josefsson's first solo album has entered the Swedish charts: Nr. 51.

2007.03.15 Swedish charts

Swedish charts

We have read some reviews of the album in Swedish newspapers.

Henrik Rydström, in Barometern.se, is not just surprised: "I am rather knocked from the introduction of the album. I thought I would listen to ordinary pop music, but instead I found mysterious, dark, electronic and strong melodies, playful arrangements, beautiful sound. Ghosts is my favourite. Do you like music? Then probably you will like this album."

12 Mar 2007

P, C & C ... Who's the "Händig Man"? (I): a new project while Junk Musik is sleeping

As previously reported, Per Gessle, Christoffer Lundquist and Clarence Öfwerman (P, C & C) are "out" and have been recording a new Gessle's album since September 2006. The new album is "En händig man" - ("A Handyman") and if everything goes as planned, it will be released on June 12. And after a two-summer break, there will be a "En händig man på turné" tour this coming summer.


In 2003 Per released his first solo album in Swedish in 18 years, "Mazarin", which was a great success with almost 400,000 sold albums. "Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång)" was the Song of the Year and the hastily organized summer tour became the Tour of the Year 2003. 2004 yielded yet another biggest record – the gigantic Gyllene Tider GT25 tour – which became the most successful tour in Sweden of all times. Almost half-a-million Swedes attented, saw and celebrated. Tickets will be released March 15 and are 370 SEK plus service charge.

The band Per Gessle will tour with:
  • Clarence Öfwerman - keyboards
  • Christoffer Lundquist - guitar
  • Mats MP Persson - guitar
  • Helena Josefsson - backing vocals
  • Jens Jansson - drums
  • Magnus Börjesson - bass
En Händig Man Turné - Tour dates:
En Händig Man pa Turné
  • 11 July – Halmstad - Örjans Vall
  • 13 July – Linköping - Stångebrofältet
  • 14 July – Sandviken - Högbo Bruk
  • 15 July – Leksand - Sammilsdal
  • 17 July – Borgholm - Idrottsplatsen
  • 19 July – Helsingborg - Sofiero Slott
  • 20 July – Västervik - Gränsö Slott
  • 21 July – Göteborg - Slottskogsvallen
  • 22 July – Strömstad - Vallen
  • 24 July – Visby - Östers Gravar
  • 27 July – Skövde - Bolougnerskogen
  • 28 July – Christinehof - Christinehof Slott
  • 29 July – Varberg - Fästningsrundan
  • 1 August – Jönköping - Elmiafältet
  • 3 August – Karlstad - Mariebergsskogen
  • 4 August – Växjö - Evedal
  • 5 August – Malmö - Mölleplatsen
  • 10 August – Västerås - Lögarängen
  • 11 August – Örebro - Behrn Arena
  • 12 August – Stockholm - Sjöhistoriska Muséet

Meanwhile, Anders Mildner gives up Junk Musik and the future of the online company of Christoffer Lundquist & friends is uncertain since they are working in many other projects.

I suck at most things like that and people know this, that's why we chose that title, "a handyman". There's a song called that too.

As I did with 'Mazarin' and 'Son Of A Plumber', I have recorded the album at Christoffer Lundquist's in Skåne and, of course, Christoffer together with Clarence Öfwerman are my closest collaborators this time as well. Through the years we have found a feeling and a way of working which is very special and it felt natural continuing this creative trip together.

We've only recorded Swedish material… 21 songs. Some are even over three minutes! The fact is that we are mixing as we speak. I'm an old man, so it's the same inspiration, same influences as ever. But there are a few rocky Gyllene Tider-power pop numbers as well! We're still in the mix and we've also recorded material live in the studio, because it's so much fun to sing and play at the same time. But I'm really a bit nervous. What if the album isn't good? Some of the material we haven't heard since September… then it might not be done in time? But they wanted it in the press release so they could sell tickets.

It's great to tour in our beautiful summer-Sweden. It's been four years since the 'Mazarin' tour and it feels very inspiring to go on tour again. Musically it will be a fireworks display of everything possible, new songs, of course, but also many of my Gyllene Tider songs which I know people want to listen to. A tour. That's right, it's been four years, isn't it time again? Yes, my feeling exactly, it's so much fun to play, we have a damn hunger [for that] now, after four years… and MP is with us this time. He was on the album but we remixed him off of it! Although some Gyllene Tider songs can't be played without good old MP. And Christoffer can't play 'Det hjärta som brinner' so… This Gyllene Tider thing is hard, you can't play for example 'När vi två blir en' without a bouncing Göran Fritzon behind the Farfisa, can you? Well, "(Hon vill ha) Puls" sounds quite decent with Clarence behind the keys. We've been considering playing some Plumber live, because it would sound great. On the other hand, it's hard to mix languages because you may lose the focal point. Besides that we have tons of material to choose from. The Swedish media will probably call this tour a flop as we'll never get the numbers that Gyllene Tider got in 2004.
Per Gessle

Two years, A LOT of singles and EP:s, two audio books, almost a thousand posts… In some ways, your recent past defines who you are. I am glad that I have had the opportunity to – in a way – be this web site.

When we started the Junk project back in 2004, no one knew anything. Itunes did not exist. Radio only played songs from the record stores.

And believe it or not – there were no blogs with three columns. We wouldn’t let that stop us, though. After one month we found a 19-year old guy in northern Sweden who knew something about Wordpress. He was, apparently, the only one. He helped us out & we sent him our first singles as payment. We got our three columns & slowly learned how to write the code.

Junk was the first Swedish music company to abandon the cd-single & go for download only. We released some great music that the world has not discovered yet. Then we suddenly forgot that we were supposed to produce music & headed for the book shelf. We didn’t think that much - we just wanted to do things that interested us. It wasn’t our plan, but Junk became the first Swedish company to release an audio book novel as a download as well.

Thinking back, I remember late nights sitting in front of my computer, emailing covers, audio files and screen shots back and forth, trying not to fall asleep during endless iChat-sessions.
We have all learned a great deal from all of this & I have made some new very nice friends. Junk will probably continue to exist, but for me, it is time to say goodbye.

I’m proud of what we have achieved and the fact that I know so much about the world of music / download / blogging/ web2.0/ DRM/ copyright/ file sharing thanks to Junk (I even know how to type that code nowadays!). Running a daily blog for over 1,5 years (after that I slowed things down a bit), also taught me about how much work it is to post. post, post, post, post.

But writing these words, I realise that I will miss it like crazy. Really. I will miss posting on this site. I will miss reading your comments.

At the moment Junk is a sleeping project. It may wake up this spring, this summer or this autumn with a Metro Jets record, a Mom & Dad-release or something completely different. That is the fun part with Junk – you never know. I am not a guy for sleeping projects, though, so for me it is time to move on.

Thanks Magnus Börjeson, David Birde, Christoffer Lundquist & Jens Jansson for letting me in. Thanks everyone out there for reading my words and making all my work worth while. I would be happy if I sometime see you at my personal blog.

Love to you all,

Anders Mildner (Junk Musik)
Anders Mildner

Thanks Anders! It’s been a lot of fun! Without you this blog will be very empty. Indeed. If it will continue at all… Let’s see what happens. Anyway, you’re doing the right thing. See you in another project soon I hope! And thanks again for posting and posting and posting and posting …

Magnus Börjeson (Junk Musik)
Magnus Börjeson - Junk Musik

Junk Musik was an early attempt to release music on internet only. That was the idea. It was a great idea but none of us are really business men and it fell apart. The problem was nobody bought anything, so we didn’t earn a penny! So Junk Music is completely K.O. The great thing about it was that there was nothing about music in the blog but about everything else. So that was the idea, attract people due to the blog and have them buy music, but that never happened. We had so many readers, but people didn’t even listen to the songs.

Starting your own record label IS the new way and it’s good. But the bad side is that artists that aren’t good with that stuff, they can go and die in a corner, because they can’t do it all by themselves and it’s a bit sad because you not only have to be a good musician, but you have to be so much else. As soon as there is some big record company involved…but that’s great about Per and Marie. They don’t care about that. They do what they like. They have always done things that feel right in their hearts and never compromised. Never released anything that was an attempt to please anyone. And that’s a huge thing and for me it’s an explanation why they both are so successful.

10 Mar 2007

Helena Josefsson, backing singer at Tambourine Studios and Gula Studion (XIX): Sebastian Karlsson - When the Night Comes Falling

Sebastian Karlsson, or Sebastian, the Swedish singer and performer, best known for his second place in Idol 2005 , has released his second album in Sweden, The Vintage Virgin.

The first single, Words and violence, with Helena Josefsson in backing vocals, was released in December and got the Nr. 3 in Swedish charts and Nr. 170 in Europe.

Sebastian Karlsson's song "When the Night Comes Falling" placed eighth in the Melodifestivalen 2007 final. It is the second single of his second album, The Vintage Virgin, with Helena Josefsson as background vocals. Helena is now promoting her new album, so this time Marika Willstedt played the piano and backing vocals.

The pre-contest favourites were The Ark, with The Worrying Kind and they won, scoring the highest marks with both juries and televoters.

8 Mar 2007

Helena's Dynamo (V): Nr. 23 - Swedish Charts and Rocksellout's interview

2007.03.08 Swedish charts

Swedish charts

Comments by fans:
I've just listened to your album. Helena, it's just wonderful, small masterpiece. I keep my fingers crossed that it'll be released somewhere abroad. Congrats with the 23rd place on Hitlistan. It has to be higher next week. Hugs from Poland

Tomas Wysocki, from Warsaw, Poland
tomos85 MySpace


Perhaps there’s something in the water, I don’t know, but Sweden has been generating a wave of great artists in all sorts of genres these past years, such as The Knife, Marit Bergman and Peter Bjorn & John. The latest rising star from the north is Helena Josefsson, who’s debut album “Dynamo” recently hit the stores. Taking the liberty to describe her music myself, I would ask you to imagine Kate Bush, Björk and perhaps Regina Spektor collaborating together. Just check out the video below for Helena’s first single, “By Your Side” and you’ll see what I mean. First though, take a moment to read some of this former chewing gum junkie's own words:

If you were making a mix for our readers, what would be the first three songs you'd select?
A mix from my own music would be: Meadow and Sleepyhead from "Dynamo" and Spiderweb Suit from Sandy Mouche´s latest album :o)

And if it was other music, I could choose:
True Colors with Cyndi Lauper
Hello Earth with Kate Bush
Samson with Regina Spektor

Name any musical influence(s)?
I have a lot of different influences even though I´ve understood it can be hard to hear them in the music! The Cure (fell in love with Robert Smith when I was a kid and I saw him in the "Close to me" video!) Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Marie Fredriksson, Monica Zetterlund, Björk, Kate Bush, Cranberries, Michael Jackson (fell in love with him too!), Mary J Blige, Otis Redding, Terence Trent D´arby, Nick Drake, Prince. The soundtracks of Astrid Lindgrens stories, and Peter and The Wolf by Prokofjev mean a great deal to me!

What new music are you currently listening to?
I like Joanna Newsom, Jay Jay Johanson, Regina Spektor, Laleh. Prince´s and Kate Bush´s latest albums are fantastic!!

Name a band (current or defunct) that would be your dream act to open for on a major tour?
I think that my music could match Coldplay or U2 tours, I like to make long mantras at the end of my songs live, and that way of forcing the athmosphere is in their music too!

Who, if anyone, would you like to collaborate with?
I would like to produce an album with Prince. I would like to bring my band and Christoffer Lunquist, producer of Dynamo. I believe it could be a fantastic match! I love the way Prince uses clustres in the vocals and I think his pop-songs (not the funky ones) have something in them that I am trying to do too!

Tell us something about you that we can't find on Google.
I love dancing: flamenco is my latest discovery, but I love the aggression in hip-hop dancing, too!

And one more thing!

When I was around 6 years old I adored chewing gum so much I would scratch off the ones on the ground:o) You know the white things one the asphalt that have been stepped on. And then I would chew them. And I asked my best friend My if I could take hers when she didn´t want it anymore :o)
Cecilia St. Jude (Rocksellout)

3 Mar 2007

Helena's Dynamo (IV): Helena at Folk å Rock

Yesterday, Helena sang and signed the album at Folk å Rock record store in Malmö, by Lilla Torg. Martinique Josefsson and Christoffer Andersson played along.

Today Helena has sung and signed the album at the record store Folk å Rock, situated on the main shopping street of Helsingborg. Christoffer and Martinique have accompanied her again.

Emma Sonesson ("Billy"), a fan from Helsingborg, was there an took some great photos. See Billy's Gallery here

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Meanwhile, Adela Toplean, a Swedish artist, has written a marvelous article about Helena Josefsson. Read it.

Not the first time when I write about Helena Josefsson. She is part of Sandy Mouche and the finest ingredient in Per Gessle's vocational project Son of a Plumber. But today I will turn to Helena alone. Her first solo album Dynamo is out, so I finally got the chance to write about her in relation to nobody else.

Helena makes that kind of music you want to follow, you want to see growing, spreading, raising debates, questioning, fighting and beating clichés, puzzling conventionalists and captivating those who have an intense (and intuitive) sense of music; you somehow want to take this music upon yourself and make it circulate faster, make it reach everybody, not tomorrow, not in a few hours, but now. It rarely happens to start my mails and conversations with: "you gotta hear this", but ever since I have listened to Helena's first single "By Your Side", I was compelled to change my greeting-habits; and after listening to the whole album, I've realized that, for some reason, I took Helena's music very personally; which is a thing that doesn't happen often, if at all.
However, better tell you more about this amazing album that, from today on, is out in the open.
So I will start with an attribute I tell everybody and write everywhere: she's otherworldly. And everything else has its roots in this first description.

Now you will probably tell me that every artful gesture coming from every artist must have an otherworldly touch in order to make (and support) a difference; and I won't argue with you. But. Founding your art on bewitching premises, as Helena does, takes an extremely well-controlled creative force. It's about a very rare ability of faultlessly juggling with your own creative impulses and slippery imagination, merging them with only half-understood intuitions and totally unknown throbs coming from some nebulous "other side". And so, Dynamo is a "visited" place, full of slushes, whispers, insinuating noises; and there's no one there to help you out, because Helena has already become a fairy and, like all fairies, she turns ambiguous and ambivalent, provocative and passionate, comfortless and cruel, tender and ticklish. You're lost, and you like it. It's first class escapism.

One could, of course, point at a certain fashion of ingeniously combining elegant, ethereal sounds with red-blooded spirit coming directly from the early Kate Bush (especially "The Dreaming", the classical "Wuthering Hights", "Man with the Child in His Eyes", "Army Dreamers") or from her latest eclectic and graceful masterpiece Aerial; or, again, from Björk's earlier music, before the electronically distorted sounds to become the Icelandic artist's favourites; or, moreover, from the never used-up 70-80's R&B influences wonderfully recaptured by, say, Antony and the Johnsons, my favourite New Yorkers. Yes, they are all to be guessed in the background of Helena's album. However, as far as I am personally concerned, I couldn't help but hearing in her "Pirate King"'s noisy presence as well as in the whole airy fairy-tale-ish atmosphere of the album, the legendary Sgt. Pepper and his "Lucy in the Sky of Diamonds", "Good Morning Good Morning", "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite" and therefore I would speculate here Christoffer Lundquist's propensity to Beatles and conceptual albums.

Speaking about Helena's genius-producer, I ought to mention (and salute) his latest predilection to oboe that already saved a Roxette track ("Reveal" that is) and is going to make "Sleepyhead" one of the most touching and realistically positive songs to be heard. As a matter of fact, as far as a dilettante (like me) could discern, Dynamo is arranged with excellency; infinite attention paid to details, but always to the benefit of the general (oh so smooth) view, nothing thick, nothing loose, nothing overwrought, no excesses, just subtleties and adequacy.

The album seems literally (consider the geographical position of Aerosol Grey Machine Studio!) and imagistically (consider the lyrics and Helena's presence!) plucked off the Nature; which provides on one hand, a rough freshness and, on the other hand, an unexpected, sophisticated mythical dimension. My favourite "Where does the unused love go?" and the artful "Air hostess" are, perhaps, the most "urban" songs on the album, "In the Woods", "Meadow", "Ghosts", "Big Bad Wolf" and "The Moon is a Grain of Sand" are almost-almost displaying a cosmic fusion with Nature and a careful playing with the equivocal Powers Out There, while "Never Never", "Waterlily Love", "Sleepyhead" and "By your side" descend deep inside the (often underrated) woman's labyrinthine soul; they uncover the essentially ambivalent approach of one's self and of others; there is, yes, tension in the album; and infinite tenderness too; the most melodic parts are delivered in twisted, unexpected, refined ways ("Waterlily Love", "By Your Side") while the most dissonant and heavy ones are displayed with a childish candour ("Pirate King", "Big Bad Wolf"). Still, the album is not an uncomprehensible paradox, but a smooth, coherent fundamentally existential statement. And it is, yes, more than music. And that's why I am grateful. So grateful.

Written by Adela Toplean (photo)
Adela Toplean's Blog - About Helena Josefsson 1st March 2007
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Read her blog, please.
Very interesting.