Everyone Is Here by Kajsa Lindgren

Kajsa Lindgren | Everyone Is Here
Warm Winters Ltd (DL/CD/CS)

In the (not necessarily) experimental music ambit, a recent surge of political correctness in regard to gender equality has generated mixed results. If on the one hand a few interesting talents were indeed brought to light, and old pioneers were rescued from unmerited anonymity (Else Marie Pade just to name one), on the other we can’t pretend to miss the unjustified coverage of certain women whose “creative” potential inevitably loses the fight against glamorous haircuts, studied looks and mandatory hints to cosmic consciousness. The innocent listener is thus distracted from the deficiencies of frivolous electronica and/or dime-store minimalism characterizing those lightweights’ output. 

Contrarily to the trend, Sweden’s Kajsa Lindgren has stricken a sufficient balance between a pair of intelligent ears and a keen interest in the most heartwarming qualities of humanness; the latter is nourished through the collection, sensible placement and processing of field recordings and otherwise found materials. In Lindgren’s words: “I consider the act of listening and the awareness of the impact of sound on our psyche and physical being to be taken for granted and ignored”. Although several contemporary musicians exist whose work vehemently contradicts this statement, Everyone Is Here represents a pleasant enough sample of the artist’s quest for “trying to figure out who we are, what we want, what makes us happy and sad in life”.

Twenty tracks in less than 40 minutes translate as a sequence of relatively brief snapshots, bucolic or less, occasionally sepia-tinged but at the same time not overly dwelling on melancholic recollection. The album’s core consists of a number of archival tapes held by Lindgren’s parents in an old basement; some of them feature her relatives playing or just anonymous voices, the composer extracting consequential snippets to combine them with her own vision. Atmospheres may range from ethereal profoundness to acceptable mellifluousness; this reviewer’s preference goes to Mirrors – an introspective fragment somewhat reminiscent of Akira Rabelais’ Spellewauerynsherde – and a couple of quietly resonant pieces wrapped in mild mystery, Treetops and How It Sounded In My Mind.

Ultimately, Lindgren does not really break any new ground. Still, her exploration of the past appears to be substantiated by a sincere curiosity, as she keeps watering her rootage’s expressive seeds via stretched echoes, reassuring presences and concrete matters. Never the whole turns into polished commonplace; not a bad feat in this time and age.

Publisher’s Note: Opinions are not facts


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