Two new Swedish solo albums by Per Gessle:
Personal, poetic, unique
With three disparate careers in his back – Gyllene Tider, Roxette, and his solo career – Per Gessle is in himself an entire Universe of music. Besides that, he always has a number of side projects going on. Soon he will release two different albums with new songs in Swedish: “En vacker natt” (“A Beautiful Night”) in the end of April and “En vacker dag” (“A Beautiful Day”) in September. And as if by accident, his summer tour is entitled “En vacker kväll” (“A Beautiful Evening”). The premiere takes place in Helsingborg on the 6th of July.
Last autumn, Per and his longstanding sidekicks Christoffer Lundquist, Clarence Öfwerman, Anders Herrlin and Helena Josefsson went to Nashville to record brand new music in Swedish.
“It crossed my mind that over the last ten years, I had spent more than 400 days in Christoffer’s studio down in Skåne,” laughs Per. “So I figured it was time to record somewhere else.”
They considered studios in England and France but were recommended the Blackbird Studios in Nashville. The mythic country capital of Tennessee felt like a challenging choice.
“We went there with no real expectations. I was curious about letting my songwriting meet the peculiar music scene of Nashville that I’ve always been very fond of. I didn’t want to shape the material too much before we went there; I just recorded some very simple acoustic demos. Then we allowed local musicians to influence the arrangements and the productions. The result became amazing,” says Per. “We had the honour to collaborate with some of the most talented Nashville musicians. People who usually play with Willie Nelson, Alison Krauss, Dwight Yoakam, Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt.”
The albums include a total of six duets; three on each. “Smådstadsprat” with Lars Winnerbäck, the first single from “En vacker natt”, is released on March 17th.
“I always find it inspiring to make duets, it provides you with a new angle to write lyrics and it opens up for thrilling arrangements. On the second album, Linnea Henriksson and John Holm join on vocals. And despite being ‘Swedish’ albums, both end with English duets with country singers Savannah Church and Jessica S. That became my homage to Nashville.”
Most of the songs were written after Roxette retired from touring in the spring of 2016.
“All of a sudden my schedule was open, so I started sketching some material of my own again. The records in Swedish are holy to me. The lyrics are really very important, not to say central. They’re about things that we all go through: the transience of life; our hopes, dreams and disappointments; how your era and generation shape the person you become. Each song tells a story of its own. The music is of course equally important. It’s the magical fusion between words and music that makes sure that a song gets stuck in the head and the heart of the listener.”
On the new albums Per Gessle continues to portray the meeting of people – the infatuation, the passion, the glow and the playfulness. For instance, in “Tittar på dej när du dansar” from the spring album “En vacker natt”. In the song “Allt gick så fort” the ego looks back at different times in his youth; as an eight-years old, as an eighteen-years old, and notes that ‘the avant-garde became mainstream in the end.” It’s personal, poetic and unique.
“En vacker natt” and “En vacker dag” are released via Per Gessle’s new founded record label Space Station 12. Released: April 28 and September 1.
Space Station 12 is under license by BMG Scandinavia.
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