27 Jan 2008

HJ's 2008 Winter (II): Swedish TV

Well, Happy New Year and New Year's greetings to all of you, Helena's fans!

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We're sorry: we haven't been here for a long time because we are having problems with the internet connection. Oh, that is a little wrong: it is just me, Billy, who has the problem, but I am the only one that can write the news in the HJ Fanclub Portal. I hope to get rid of this problem as soon as possible.

As you might know, Helena Josefsson has been interveiwed two times this week in TV. I haven't
been able to post that for you (I am very sorry. Forgive me).

You can see it on line: Sleepyhead performance, interview and Where does the unused love go? at the end.
2008.01.23 HJ Skäne direkt
Unfortunately there is no web-TV for this inteview.
2008.01.26 HJ - Sverige i veckan Plus, TV4

On February 18th, Helena will do a live performance at the morning programm Nyhetsmorgon on Swedish television, Tv4. Try to find her.

Read more interesting things and changes at the fanclub.

23 Jan 2008

HJ's 2008 Winter (I): Skåne direkt (Kanal Lokal TV)

2008.01.23 HJ Skäne direkt

Today I have been interviewed and performed two songs in Skånes Kanal Lokal!. See it HERE. It is the one from 23/1

2007.01.23 HJ - Kanal Lokal (Skäne Direkt) 12007.01.23 HJ - Kanal Lokal (Skäne Direkt) 2

The first song comes after 4 minutes and the interview and the last song - at the very end of the whole show!

Sleepyhead - Kanal Lokal - Skåne direkt -
Wednesday 23rd January 18.00-19.00

Where does the unused love go
(Voz Vibrante Remix)
- Kanal Lokal - Skåne direkt -

Wednesday 23rd January 18.00-19.00

I have added Unused love Remix to myspace.
Helena Josefsson (Sandy Mouche)
Helena Josefsson - H.J.

Videos uploaded by Le Journal des Mouches from Kanal Lokal Skåne
Alberto Fuente - LJdM

Comments by fans:

Do you know that Helena is a really good dancer? She went dancing with a dancegroup, which name I forgot but her sister was in the dancegroup also. They put on some glittery clothes and had shows here in Lund on Stortorget-stage, if I dont remember wrong!

Eva Guillén (aka Ohemul), from Lund, Skäne

21 Jan 2008

2008 World According to P, C & C (I): new recordings at AGM, Luke Jackson, Brainpool and Grammys

2008 is here and Per Gessle, Clarence Öfwerman and Christoffer Lundquist (P, C & C) keep working. Today Brainpool's space includes a blog about the uncertain future of the band but it is said that P, C & C are going to begin the recordings of Gessle's new album in English at AGM Studios this January. By the way, no Grammy for Per this year.

Meanwhile, you can read and watch the experience of another great musician in Aerosol Grey Machine Studios, Luke Jackson.

According to one of their moderators, "The nice Kai", from Berlin, right in time for Per's birthday on the 12th January, Son of a Plumber's Official forum has got some changes and a shiny new look. The whole forum structure has been re-organized, new forums were added. You can send Per Gessle your personal wishes for his 49th birthday there. He wants us to have fun and fill the forum with life. I will do it for sure.

SOAP forum

Per Gessle Birthday  2008 by gessloholic

We're not completely gone, but recording is not happening right now. There is work being done, children being looked after, and producing in progress... When we find the time to get together we will make an album for sure. We have new songs, but they're waiting to be made real. All we need is a little patience


Dear friends,

It's 2008 already and life has been pretty hectic since I got back from finishing up the record in Sweden in October, hence the lateness of this report. Before I start, if this is your first time visiting my blog, I suggest you take a quick look at my first studio report from May 2007 which will fill you in on the background of these sessions.

The week I spent at the studio in October was the most fantastic experience. I flew to London on the red-eye with just enough time to shower and change at my brother's flat and I was on my way to the airport again, picking up Robert Kirby on the way (who assured me that he had ALMOST finished writing all the string arrangements!). We flew to Copenhagen and picked up a rental car for the splendid drive across the icy Baltic Sea to Southern Sweden. We made a quick pit-stop in Malmö for provisions at my favourite destination, the delicatessen Mollans Ost in Mollevangen Square where, quite by chance, the staff were playing Nick Drake's "Five Leaves Left". Robert jokingly accused me of having set this up! Suffice to say we got a 20% discount and the guys at Mollans Ost got their CD signed.

We got to the studio in time for supper and Christoffer's wife Ylva had prepared one of her trademark feasts. We chatted for hours, listening to Robert's fascinating stories of yesteryear, like the one about the rock opera he was commissioned to write in the late 60's for which a little-known band called Genesis were hired to record the demo reel, but they didn't like the singer's voice so they had him just play flute and got a girl in to sing! The day ended with Robert and I sitting at the kitchen table in the little cottage where the studio's guests stay, Robert putting the finishing touches to his arrangements whilst I whipped up a big bowl of trifle as part of the smorgasbord I was planning for the visiting musicians the next day.

October 2nd 2007 is a day I will remember for the rest of my life. In many ways it represented the culmination of a lifetime spent playing and writing music, and it was certainly the crowning moment of the production of this album. We arrived at the studio early to find Christoffer setting up the live room with microphones, music stands, chairs and headphone outlets for all the players. Shortly thereafter a minibus arrived from Malmö with our double quartet...nine young players from Malmö's Opera Orchestra: Charlotta, Daniel, Urban, Johanna, Tomas, Hanna, Martin, Emil and Andreas. Introductions out of the way and we were soon assembled in the live room, Robert introducing the players to 'This Life', the first song they were to play on.

Up until this point I had not heard a single note Robert had written for these songs, so it was a little overwhelming when he first raised his conducting baton in the air and the orchestra struck up all at once. Since it was a dry run-through without the backing track, I had trouble figuring out which parts of the song went with what Robert had written. Indeed, even when they were playing along to the backing track, every last headphone socket in the studio was being used up, so I was still unable to discern exactly what was going on...I recognized obvious phrases that matched some parts of the song, but then the string arrangement would take a turn and I'd be lost again! Why wasn't I in the mixing room with Christoffer, listening to the strings over the backing track? Because I was in live room filming the players, and this is how it sounded...

I'll start you off with just the strings on their own so you can experience it as I first did, then I'll fade in the finished mix half way through so you can hear what they're actually playing over:

For the more discerning viewers out there, you can download the far superior 43MB Mpeg-4 file for easy playpack on your quicktime player by clicking here.

Christoffer's careful planning made the technical aspects of the recording seem invisible, leaving Robert and the players free to concentrate on their performance. I felt like a bit of a hanger-on for much of the day, being the only person who wasn't actually playing or engineering anything...I had finished recording all my parts back in May. I just tried to keep out of everyone's way, and it was a good thing I had the camera to keep me busy, not to mention the lunch I was busy preparing for 12 people.

After lunch it was back into the studio to record one of the more fragile songs on the record, 'A Little Voice'. This piece had been around for five or six years as a short instrumental. I didn't know if I would even put it on record, but after Robert agreed to write some string arrangements I felt that this little piece might become something special, so I fleshed it out and wrote some lyrics for it the week before the May sessions, and sure enough Robert wound up writing a truly magical orchestration for the song.

In this clip you'll hear the whole song, and part way through we'll leave the string session and I'll show you a clip of Christoffer trying out a dulcitone part the following day with a little help from the studio kitten. We actually wound up leaving the dulcitone part off the finished mix so this is the only place you'll ever hear it!

Again, feel free to download the 7 MB Mpeg-4 file here.

I have footage of all the other songs we recorded strings for, but I think these two will give you enough of an idea of the process. I'll just include one last clip, this time from the mixing stage of the album. I'm a big fan of those 'Classic Album' TV shows you sometimes see on VH-1 where they'll look at the making of albums like Sgt. Pepper, A Night At The Opera or Dark Side Of The Moon. I especially like it when the artist or the album's engineer sits at the mixing desk and brings up the faders one at a time so you hear one of your favourite songs come together bit by bit. So this next clip is a rip-off of that! I caught Christoffer just as he had loaded up the tape to begin mixing the song 'Half A World Away' and asked him to talk me through the tracks a little...

You can download the 13MB Mpeg-4 file here if you wish.

I'm really glad I had the video camera with me on this trip so that I could keep a record of the process and share some of this experience with you. I wish I'd had the camera on my two previous trips to Sweden, but I spent most of those either singing or playing guitar, so as great as it would have been to show you the sessions with Magnus and Jens (on bass and drums), it just wouldn't have been practical.

Making this record has really been the high point of my life as a musician and I only hope I get the chance to do it all again in a couple of years. Stay tuned for my release plans and send me an email if you'd like to get on my mailing list.

Best wishes and a happy new year to everyone,

Luke Jackson (Popsicle)

Fulfilling my duty as “the Swedish one” of the site, I bring you some (i.e. the ones that I somewhat care about) of the winners at last night’s Swedish Grammy awards. Fakir was the biggest winner of the show. Sahara Hotnights were nominated for three awards, but walked away empty-handed. Booo!

2008.01 Salem Al Fakir

  • Best new act, best male act, best composer and best producer: Salem Al Fakir.
  • Best live act: The Hives
  • Best dance/hiphop/soul act: Adam Tensta
  • Best group and best album: Kent.
  • Best female act and best songwriter: Säkert! (a.k.a. Annika Norlin, from Hello Saferide)

Is Roxette over? No one’s stopping you from dreaming, but really I’m getting sick of these pointless threads, because everyone reaches the same stalemate - no new album is forthcoming, and by the looks of things, will ever be. We can't do anything but sit back and enjoy what they've given us.

If it's over, it's over. The world will not end, the universe will not implode because they are not releasing albums, songs, whatever as Roxette. Anything new they release, from now on, will be a nice surprise (unless it's another MMHGP, in which case there'll be trouble). I'm not that much of a hopeless dreamer that I wish for another say, 5 new albums and a world tour to back each one up. That is almost definitely not going to happen. And I'm fine with that, y'know? There's tens, if not hundreds of bands and artists I've never seen, and of those there are some I know I will probably never see. If Roxette is one of them, oh well. No biggie.

So, if it is over, mourn their loss and then move on to a life without them making new music. So what if you never got to see them live or managed to get a new album out of them and held it in your sweaty little paw after running to the shop to get it on the first day? They've done a lot of good, great stuff, more than a lot of certain other rubbish bands who shall remain nameless (*cough* Tokio Hotel! *cough*). At the end of the day, just step back and appreciate what you have instead of complaining about what you don't.

13 Jan 2008

Sandy Mouche's rehearsals and recordings for a new album (VIII): songs and wikipedia

Hello again, yes we are updating the page quite often now and we are glad that you are following the recording of the year.

Today we started recording probably the fastest song on the album. Per was a bit scared when he realised that it was a 179bpm song. The fact that he had a cold and was feeling a bit saggy didn´t encourage him. Yet he put on his blue basket ball shoes and was ready to hit the toms at a speed he had never recorded.

2008.01.13 Sandy Mouche - Recording

When Per is behind the drums it is me (Martinique) who sets the parameters in the computer so that there is no chance of distortion. This time I had to lower everything since Per was hitting so hard.

After three takes the drums were recorded and Per was even more saggy and sweaty. Great work man. The drums came out pretty punky which we liked.

Then it was bass time! Per and me sat down and tried to figure out the best way to match the bass line with the drums. It ended in a pretty straight forward bass lick with variations in both verse and chorus =). That was all we had time for today and next time we think a nice piano will suit this song. Thank you for reading.

In July 2007, Alberto Fuente, Le Journal des Mouches' editor, completed the first article in English about Sandy Mouche in Wikipedia. There was no reference in English, only in Swedish. Ilya Volkov, a Russian fan, had written a good article in wikipedia (August, 2006) about Helena Josefsson, but there was no article about Sandy Mouche. My article was not very good indeed because I took most of information from the official website. Ricardo Colmenares, a fan from Venezuela, rewrote the text again, and removed the more unencyclopedic content, such as the description of the band's emotional impact on the listener. The final article is much better than the original one. Read it:

SM in Wikipedia

Sandy Mouche is a Swedish band from Lund, Skåne County, southern Sweden. It consists of songwriter- and singer couple Martinique and Helena Josefsson, and the brothers Per (drums) and Ola (guitar) Blomgren. On live shows they bring a bassist and a pianist. They sing in English and French.

Sandy Mouche was created in the fall of 2001. Helena and Martinique were on holiday in Crete, Greece, with Per (who had played with Helena in other bands for six years) and his girlfriend, Hanna. Martinique played his song, "A Year" for the group. It was then that they collectively decided to form a band.

Searching for a name, they were inspired by their surroundings: Back on the beach, Per played with the hot sand and shouted "sandy!" Helena looked at her friends, and noticed they all had a mouche on their faces. The name clicked, to the band it sounded like a woman's name, about whom they would make up stories. Following the name was the idea to sing in both English and French. According to the band, they picture Sandy Mouche as "a young woman who lives in every band member making sure we stay on the right track". Per's brother Ola joined the band shortly after.

The band recorded demo's in Per's bedroom, and in a studio along with Danyal Taylan, who would play the bass from then point until 2004. Sandy Mouched recorded and released an EP, which they sent to producer Christoffer Lundquist, whom the band felt to be "the perfect collaborator". Sandy Mouche decided they would release their first album, White Lucky Dragon (2004) on their own label, Magpie Music.

White Lucky Dragon was released in Sweden and Japan.

...and poems for the unborn is the band's latest album, and it was self-financed, with Playground Music Scandinavia and Junk Music handling the distribution. It was recorded and mixed over a 10-day period. Unlike the first album, the songwriters wrote separately for their second album, which resulted in a more diverse release than their debut, counting ABBA, jazz, disco, pop, and even children's music among its influences. According to the band, they made the kind of album they would like to buy themselves.

Since 2006, Helena Josefsson, Martinique Josefsson, Per Blomgren and Ola Blomgren have been working in solo projects, although Sandy Mouche will probably record a new album soon, according to Helena and Martinique. They have also made some promotion of …and poems for the unborn with gigs in France and Switzerland.

On February 28, 2007, Helena Josefsson released her first solo album, Dynamo, produced by Christoffer Lundquist. Helena has worked with Per Gessle (Roxette), The Ark, Righteous Boy, Swan Lee, Andreas Johnson, Sebastian Karlsson, Gyllene Tider... and is a member of Son of a Plumber. Dynamo does not break the Sandy Mouche project: in fact Martinique Josefsson and Per Blomgren have been working in Helena's solo project (in the studio and/or in the gigs).

Since September 2007, Sandy Mouche is recording a new album. They are recording in Per Blomgren's house, so the album will be produced by themselves. This time Martinique has written all the songs. Helena Josefsson takes part in vocals but she is also working in her second solo album.

11 Jan 2008

Helena Josefsson, backing singer at Malmö's studios (IX): District 1269, a band from Malmö

On July 1st 2006, District 1269 (Yonaz Grauholtz + Chris Jersey + Nick Raven, then), a 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). There were many differences between the company and the band, so after some recordings in the same studio in Autumn 2006 and January 2007, they broke their contract before releasing the song that was supposed to be the second single, "It's too late".

2007 - District 1269

Since then, District 1269 has became a indie rock band that tries to record their first full album. The actual members are 5 boys from Malmö. They have updated their official website and you can listen to their songs in thier myspace:

District 1269
  • Yonaz Grauhotz - lead vocals, guitar, songwriting
  • Chris Jersey - lead vocals, keyboards
  • Ryuu Lord - guitar, backing vocals
  • Jin Carnage - drums, backing vocals (born in Lisbon, Portugal)
  • Eddie Rioz - bass, backing vocals

8 Jan 2008

Helena is writing songs for her second solo album (III): winter-bathing

Waiting for spring to come!

When all the fun of Christmas and new year is gone, I can´t wait for spring to appear.

If I bring in a lot of light colours like pink, yellow and light green, it feels like spring at home, even though winter has just started here in Malmö! Some pink candles that I bought, might help? They remind me of cherry-blossom! I tried winter-bathing for the first time, my little sister even dipped her head several times, but her lips were all blue...! Luckily the sauna was on...! If the snow will fall again and stay on the ground this time, winter will be so much more useful! Long-distance skiing or skating.. I sure don´t hope all the seasons will even out now that the environment changes. Sure, winter here in the south of Sweden is mostly grey and wet, but it does help when it comes to appreciating the other seasons. I myself have started eating mostly vegetarian food, and only ecological or wild meat - it even tastes better. I have to believe that the small changes do matter!

Soon, very soon now, I will go to the studio and start recording the second soloalbum- out in the countryside- to meet spring when it comes ...

Helena Josefsson (Sandy Mouche)
Helena Josefsson - H.J.

Comments by fans:
Idag hade Hella o Martin öppet hus i sin nya lägenhet :D

Hanna Josefsson, from Malmö, SE

Hej Helena,

Here in Poland it also snowed but today everything is melting and the ground turned grey again. What is worse, now it's so wet that you have to change your trousers when you are finally at home. I try to appreciate the winter and its long, pleasant evenings when I can drink hot, cinnamon tea, devour bars of chocolate and listen to some soothing music. I can't wait for spring and your next solo album to come.
Lots of love,

Mondays are the the most honest days. In the beginning of the working week, the arriviste in us is still a junior, the feeling of importance is still under construction, we lie less, we listen more. So on Mondays, we're still learning how to put our guard up; on Tuesdays, we're starting to get dogmatic; Wednesdays - we lose our sense of hearing, touch and truth; on Thursdays, we swank; on Fridays, we're recovering from anesthesia. We spend the weekends trying to cope with the pain of being ourselves, counting calories, money, chances, and blood cells. Helena Josefsson has just started recording a new solo-album. Fingers crossed, prayers, chants and hurrah's for the last honest musician in our feather-light music world.

Adela Toplean - A_T_ blog


It is an honour for me to say that the princess of the world are about to write a blog at the HJ Fanclub Portal. Guess who, if not Helena herself! She will blog while they are recording the coming album. I could'nt believe it when she said that. So hurry to be the first to register and read her first contribution soon.

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PS: Sorry for not being in the HJ Official Forum quite often, there is sooo much to do for me now. I work day and night, all the time. i hope to get more time soon. We're building a new wearhouse.

Updated May 2008 (LJdM): Finally, Helena decided to write a blog in her own website.

Cheers and kisses to you!

7 Jan 2008

The DollyCamp (V): Dollykollot, the long journey to Dollywood

In 2004, Nina Persson (from the Cardigans) gave Dolly Parton's biography to her friend Gudrun Hauksdottir to read and both grew even bigger Dolly fans then before.

They contacted the director Jessica Nettelbladt and together decided to record a film about five female singers from Malmö: Cecilia Nordlund, Lotta Wenglén, Helena Josefsson, Gudrun Hauksdottir and Nina Persson. SheMusic and Le Joni produced it.

The movie, Dollykollot: "Den långa resan till Dollywood", with the five singers playing themselves, tells their musical love, friendship and music projects connected to Dolly for a time span of 4 years.

The documentary is trying to show what their idol, Dolly, or idols in general could mean to the singers, how it influences these 5 musicians and if you can succeed in "finding" your idol.


Some of the scenes are taken from the Stockholm Pride 2005 (Stockholm,6.08.2005).
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Other scenes were filmed at Dolly Parton Tribute Concert (Debaser Medis, Stockholm, 16.03.2007, with 30.000 attendees).

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The documentary film could be premiered in 2009. There would be another tribute concert at KB, Malmö, in June 2008.