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CHRISTIAN KJELLVANDER & Band
"Hold Your Love Still"-Tour
Hold Your Love Still
Release date November 3, 2023
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"I want to give you this and ask for nothing in return."
Surrounded by a delicate veil of reverb, Christian Kjellvander's gentle voice opens the door for us to his latest work, "Hold Your Love Still" - his first solo album since 2020's "About Love And Loving Again." In this creative phase, Kjellvander shows his reflective side, exploring the challenges of living a sincere life, entangled in the complex influences of capitalism. At the same time, he urges us not to lose hope for a better future.
The album deals with existential and environmental tensions, but skillfully walks between stoicism and optimism. He enriches his signature melancholic mood with soaring compositions in major keys that make each song a profound experience. Each song is precise and thoughtful - in contrast to the musical boundary pushing that characterized his last works, he now performs a conscious turn to song. The lyrics are full of natural imagery, subtle poetry and fascinating empathy. This is the work of a seasoned songwriter at his best.
The love referred to in the album title is a state of energy or a concentration of feelings, a difficult quality to describe anyway, which he occasionally misses in our modern society. The refreshing opening track, "Western Hemisphere," confirms that everything we need is already within our reach; we just need to hold still long enough to recognize it. The piece celebrates the power of nature and reminds us that the tall grass has more beauty than the lawn, no matter how carefully manicured. "Notes From The Drive Between Simat and Alcoi" also has as its theme the pursuit of perfection so prevalent in our society. It's a travelogue from southeastern Spain, inspired by breathtaking valleys, a Cistercian monastery and the soothing distortion of a rather decrepit sound system. In it, Kjellvander recalls a performance in Alcoi, a town that played a pivotal role in the early days of the labor movement in the 19th century, even if picketers only raise their voices in whispers these days. Kjellvander expresses his delight in rugged landscapes, weathered walls and humming loudspeakers while voicing his protest against the dead-straight lines and clean sound of our commercialized existence. Meanwhile, the piece evolves from ballad to anthem.
The song "Baleen Whale" is about the stress of being constantly inundated with news or even the lack of detachment from other people's problems. Christian therefore draws the comparison to a whale that ceaselessly filters food through its baleen and eventually strands. A rumbling bass and drum broom provide the rhythmic framework, while the delicate piano and somber strings form a melancholic backdrop for Kjellvander's story, until finally an unexpected surge of hopeful chords lifts the chorus to unimagined heights.
In the album's fourth song, the beautiful "Terns Took Turns," Christian weaves his own love into a love song in which he explores intimacy and vulnerability. He captures in this piece not only the moment of surrender to the overwhelming feeling of affection, but also that closeness that makes communication without words possible in the first place.
The very vivid "Disgust For The Poor," accompanied by a pounding rhythm, provides a painfully precise analysis of capitalism, consumerism and continued colonialism. At the same time, it questions whether we can truly change an unjust system while enjoying all the comforts it affords us. In the heady and imaginative "On Wine And Jesus Christ," Kjellvander then realizes a long-held ambition and explores his relationship with alcohol, remembering how he used alcohol and how it used him. Is it possible to enjoy alcohol without succumbing to its dangers at the same time?
The album reaches its climax in the epic and captivating track "We Are Gathered," which is a nine-minute journey that cleverly combines the album's theme with a sense of responsibility and optimism. The music transports the listener into a hypnotic state as the melodies and sounds build to an impressive crescendo.
With the closing song "Dream 2066", Christian Kjellvander presents us with a reassuring vision of a possible future free from climate catastrophes and the shackles of capitalism. His comforting voice leaves a lasting message about the power of community and cohesion.
Admission: 7:00 pm