When Bror Forsgren (The Lionheart Brothers, Jaga Jazzist, Silence The Foe) is making his solo debut at the age of 34, he doesnâ€™t go easy on anything. As the title on the great art deco-inspirered cover indicates at first sight, Â«NarcissusÂ» is a grandiose and uncompromising piece of pop music.
The albumâ€™s theme is centred around the big questions. Lost love, innocence and faith in God are all important elements in the universe Bror Forsgren has created for Â«NarcissusÂ». The arrangements, which none other than TrondheimSolistene have orchestrated, are grandiose and intricate. Despite its Â«wall of soundÂ»-approach and several prominent musical guests (Lars Horntveth, Mathias Eick, Marte Eberson and others), the album still comes across as an intensely personal affair.
Bror Forsgren himself describes the album like this:
- Iâ€™ve always dreamed of making an album with grand orchestration, whilst managing to keep the music timeless. Iâ€™m a big fan of Scott Walker and loves his ability to intertwine velvety pop music and modern composition. My vision for this album has been to create a work where my natural pop habitat melts together with the classical and the modern.
Already on the opening track, Â«Waiting For That Holy MusicÂ», itâ€™s clear that this isnâ€™t just any album. Its musical landscape evokes the previously mentioned Scott Walker and other greats like The Beach Boys, Brian Eno and Ennio Morricone. But Â«NarcissusÂ» is by no means an exercise in the name of pastiche art. The way Bror Forsgren takes elements from these greats and builds his own sonic cathedral, shows that heâ€™s an impressively confident artist with a clear vision.
The albumâ€™s nine songs form a fascinating musical journey where we join Forsgren down to the deepest valleys. Luckily, you might say, thereâ€™s also light at the end of the tunnel. In several ways this anecdote from Bror Forsgrenâ€™s trip from Oslo to Trondheim to record TrondheimSolistene, illustrates the album very well.
- I arrived early at the railway station, but because of delays and technical problems with the airport express train, I had to take a taxi to Gardermoen airport. Five minutes before my flightâ€™s departure time, I arrived at the airport and ran through the security check. If I didnâ€™t catch this flight, the whole recording, lots of money and the album Iâ€™d been working on for two years would go down the drain. When I arrived at gate 23, I discovered that the flight had been moved to gate 19. I ran the long way to that gate, but when I finally arrived there, the gate had only just closed. I tearfully explained my situation to one of the officials at the gate, who despite strict regulations let me come on board. And thus Â«NarcissusÂ» became a reality, Forsgren says.
In other words itâ€™s been a long, difficult and, at times, dark process. But on the other hand, with Â«NarcissusÂ» in his back pocket, Bror Forsgren has landed on his own two feet. However, he gladly admits that his many supporters and musicians have been invaluable.
- Iâ€™m very lucky to have been joined by so many competent people and Iâ€™m extremely grateful for this. Without all their help Â«NarcissusÂ» wouldnâ€™t have existed.
Â«NarcissusÂ» will be released on Jansen Plateproduksjon on 25 September.
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