The Confusions ”Black Silhouettes”, Går på repeat hos GAFFA Sverige The Confusions 10: album är ett imponerande dubbelalbum av ett band som förfinat sitt hantverk. Att gå tillbaka till kvartettformatet har givit musiken mer luft, lekfullhet och en ny tydlighet. Skivan är full av deras imponerande låtskrivarfärdigheter och passion för sitt egensnickrade musikaliska universum. På detta album hittar du allt från lo-fi-indie-grooves och enkla indiepoplåtar med ett avstamp i 60-talet och med melodisk post-punkenergi.
Hola todos! A lot of great things happening for us. We just wanted to share a picture from a music video session we did this Weekend, you will soon see the result. Also proud to say that Yusten, The Music Guru is currently placing our album “Black Silhouettes” as the 4th best albums so far 2021.Our song “Arrow” is playlisted at our favorite rock radio station Rocket.FM – The Rock Home of Stockholm, huge thanks to Eric, Daniel and co:… more news coming soon!
Until then, peace and love amigos!… and yes, it was very cold outside when we filmed. Black Silhouettes out on Massproduktion, mastered by Nevo Mastering
Torsdagen den 20:e maj är The Confusions med på den digitala festivalen “Manifestival digital 2”, det hela börjar kl. 18.00. “Kolla in det bästa liveklippen från indiesverige från pestens år 2020/21“. Detta ser man på Manifestgalans facebook eller hemsida. Direktlänk: https://fb.me/e/2jh31ypPW Arrangeras av Manifestgalan och SOM – Svenska Oberoende Musikproducenter.Vilken skön line-up av artister, våra skivbolagskompisar i Red Mecca, alltid lika aktuella bob hund och ett helt gäng till strålande artister. Vårt bidrag är inspelat live på vår hemmaplan, världens bästa rockklubb Pipeline i Sundsvall.
“Svensk indiepop med några slattar postpunk i den musikaliska mixen och även lite the Cure-feeling allt som oftast.” “… Black Silhouettes är en jämnbra platta, där jag fastnat mest för låten Suburbian Ghosts vars rejält schyssta refräng gärna sätter sig och gnager i skallen.” En till fin recension av “Black Silhouettes”, även om recensenten tycker det blev väl mustigt med 20 låtar, håll ut och ta en paus mellan sida B och C tänker vi! Stort tack till Ungmusik.se och recensenten Roger Bengtsson. Länk till recensionen: https://ungmusik.se/recensioner/jamnbra-men-i-langsta-laget/
Great words from Yusten, The Music Guru, Chicago, U.S. about our new double album “…The Confusions‘ “Black Silhouettes” is one my favorite releases of 2021! The vinyl has arrived safely from Sweden and joins my already massive collection of theirs. I call them the hardest working Swedish band, and their ability to drop a double album THIS great so far into their career is only matched by a band like The Smashing Pumpkins.” “…I still have so much left to collect from The Confusions‘ massive discography.” Huge thanks Justin!
Härliga nyheter! Ny suverän recension av “Black Silhouettes”, 4/5 av Rockfarbror.se. “Nytt fint album med The Confusions”, “Det är småmörk indiepop/indierock som The Confusions ger oss och om man ska jämföra med något annat svenskt band så är det väl Deportees”. “Det är bra låtar hela vägen och de sätter sig direkt, men det är också låtar som växer.” “… låtar som passar alldeles utmärkt att dra i gång när det blir lite mörkt ute och man tänder något ljus där hemma. Det är nog då det här soundet gör sig bäst. Ah, lyssna bara på titelspåret då …Topp tre? Black silhouettes som verkligen är en ”sen kväll lyssna på”-låt, Close your eyes som har ett så härligt gitarr- och bas-sound att det lyfter hela låten och Tangerine sky som är lite snabbare och som gör att man får någon nostalgisk 1980-talskänsla.” Länk till recensionen: https://rockfarbror.se/…/nytt-fint-album-med-the…/ av Thomas Cedergren, Rockfarbror.se Släpps av Massproduktion, master av Nevo Mastering
“Albumets obekymrade och kärleksfyllda flörtande med både 60- och 80-talssound låter mer som en uppriktig hälsning till en mogen indielyssnare än något annat. Även om det exempelvis i 60-talsarrangemangen finns mycket förutsägbarhet, så finns också ofta en medvetenhet och en idé i det som leder bort från schablonfällan.
The band comprises Mikael Andersson-Knut (vocals, guitar), his wife Zarah Andersson-Knut (keyboard, vocals), Mattias Löfström (drums) and Magnus Thorsell (bass). Löfström and the Andersson-Knuts went to the same school in Sundsvall in the 80’s and the band has existed since 1991. Thorsell was not the original bass player but they’ve know him forever and he also played on their first single, ‘Me And Marianne’. ‘There was a lot of discussion about our name,’ Mikael joked. ‘We took it from the lyrics in the Bob Dylan song, ‘All Along The Watchtower’. There’s a line “there must be some kind of way outta here said the joker to the thief, there’s too much confusion”.’
Black Silhouettes is a fascinating album, with the 20 tracks telling stories about everything from love, solitude, nationalism and Chernobyl. ‘When you make a record, it’s really exciting to get the songs in order to create a story,’ Mikael said. ‘We knew that it would be 20 songs.’ So far, the album has been released as a double vinyl album, with the first 10 tracks also available on Spotify. The remaining tracks will also be made available on streaming platforms as of August. Mikael acknowledges that the mood shifts from the A to D sides, with the A side being the rockiest, whereas the C side, which starts with ‘Don’t You Fall In Love’ is ‘colder’: ‘It’s more melancholic, whereas the D side, which includes ‘Sunday Mornings’ is sunny, there’s more of a 60’s vibe.’
The album cover features the four band members atop a mountain in silhouette, an image which is mirrored inside the album in a photo of them onstage with the audience framed as dark shadows. The title track, ‘Black Silhouettes’, is one of the standout tracks for me and sets the tone for what’s to come. ‘We had a session with our friend Daniel and did the first take but without the right chorus. Two weeks later, I’d combined what we had with another chorus, we feel that this song is special,’ Mikael said.
‘It feels like you’re falling into the story’
As the opening track, they wanted ‘Black Silhouettes’ to be particuarly story-driven: ‘I wanted that song to feel like a good short story, where you’re thrown into the situation,’ Mikael said. ‘I thought about this woman being alone reading a lot, the window is always open but she’s running away from something in her life. It feels like you’re falling into the story.’ It does, as evidenced by the way the song begins: ‘You’re all alone with your books in the summertime, the window is always open. The words hit your heart with a cosmic power, you wish you could be dancing. Soon it will be dark, this is where you keep your heart.’
The song was heavily influenced by American rock band, The War on Drugs, according to Mikael: ‘We wanted to have that straight drum beat that pushes the song forward, that’s how the song starts. We changed the key so that my voice would be higher. With the new bridge and the chorus, it fitted perfectly.’ I tell him that the song feels like a dream: ‘Oh, that’s good, that’s what we wanted it to be, happy yet still sad in a way. Zarah did the mellotrons in the chorus.’
Another track, ‘Into the Twilight’, has a very different feel to it, kicking off with synths and is most memorable for the dramatic chord shift from chorus to verse. Essentially, the song is about getting to know someone and their past and has a slightly wistful feel to it, which is captured by the lyrics: ‘Who did you kiss when you were 15? What was her name or was it a he? What kind of friends did you hang out with and what did you do when you were out of school? What did they tell you? What did they make you become?’
They weren’t actually sure initially about including it, partly due to the dramatic chord shift: ‘It might be a single now,’ Mikael said. ‘We’ve grown to like it very much, it’s very much a post punk song, in the style of David Bowie around the time of ‘Heroes’. Lyrically, it’s also about where we are going, everyone is a stranger these days.’
‘I think it’s a mix between David Bowie and the Twin Peaks music’
Some songs on the album veer into 80’s territory, notably ‘I Wish We Could Swim Now’, which I tell him sounds as if it could be an A-ha song. ‘I think it’s a mix between David Bowie and the Twin Peaks music,’ he said. ‘The verses are kinda dark, it’s about regrets in a way, it opens up with this big chorus. I found the chorus later on. We started talking about David Lynch, we like him and the intro synths of the song has got that Twin Peaks feel. It’s a song you imagine playing when there’s a vehicle driving in the dark with the headlights on!’
Mikael and I are chatting about the track ‘Maybe You’re Just Another One of A Kind’ when Zarah joins us, which is perfect timing, given that she does lead vocals on it. However, the track went through several different configurations to get to the version we know today, having initially taken the form of a duet between them: ‘Mikael often says it’s good to have a different voice, it makes it more interesting and this song was in the right key for my voice,’ she said. Structurally, the song takes an interesting form as it is essentially one long verse without a chorus. ‘Zarah said she should do a vocal overdub to look for new harmonies, so there are three vocal harmonies now in the song which creates a magic feel,’ Mikael said. ‘The song is a person talking to herself almost as if she has three personalities. The line ‘maybe you’re just another one of a kind’ comes from everyone wanting to be so special and unique, which means that nothing is special anymore. Everyone is trying to be something they’re not.’
They’re both big fans of Chicago alt rock band, Wilco. ‘We like them when they’re not too grumpy or too much country,’ Mikael laughed. ‘Our song ‘Sunday Mornings’ was influenced by them. One night, we were supposed to record a different song but I said I had this one that was like a 60’s song. Mattias was drumming, he said “Maybe we should speed this up” and it fell into place, it was like Ringo playing the drums! It turned out perfect. Sometimes, you pick up the guitar and it plays itself, in this song there are a lot of progressions and chord changes. Then Zarah did the strings – well, mellotron strings – and that set the tone for the 60’s feel.’
‘Sometimes you’re afraid that it will sound like something else’
For Zarah, one of her constant fears is whether something they’ve written is actually original to them: ‘Sometimes you’re afraid that it will sound like something else or that you didn’t write it but this time, with this song, it sounded good, like something new.’ I tell them that musicians frequently tell me this and that it must be one of the most difficult parts of the job. Mikael laughs: ‘At the end of the day, it always sounds like us anyway!’
She is a big fan of Gothenburg-based singer, Slowgold, who she describes as ‘amazing live’. Mikael loves the popular song ‘Young Folks’ by Peter Bjorn and John and the Swedish band, Trummor & Orgel: ‘They’re an instrumental band, they sound like 60’s psychedelia. They play really good jazz but it’s still indie, like The Stone Roses in a 60’s way! You get the groove.’
If he could have seen any band live, Mikael goes with Blur: ‘I have never seen them, I would like to because the whole Britpop scene was important to us.’ One of the best gigs they’ve ever been to was a gig put on by Radiohead in Stockholm a few years ago. ‘The sound was great, it was magic,’ he said. However, their standout gig to date was the first time they saw Wilco: ‘There were maybe 1,100 people,’ Mikael said. ‘We were right in front of the stage, you could see what guitar pedals they were using. You lose yourself in it, I love it.’
Fin recension av “Black Silhouettes” | Nöjesguiden. 4/6. “På sitt tionde album tar bandet med oss på en resa genom den enkla, men samtidigt komplicerade, vardagen. Musikaliskt finns det spår från både postpunken och lo-fi indie. Här berättas en historia om dyster kärlek och längtan bort. Det finns något som är så otroligt mellanmjölk-svenskt i de raka textraderna. Inte minst väldigt norrländskt. Ta bara faktumet att den ena låten är skapad ur barndomsminnen om Tjernobyl, som orsakade radioaktivt regn över delar av Norrland. På ett både fyndigt och allvarsamt sätt speglar The Confusions livet i städer som i hemstaden Sundsvall.”