Pär Hagström and Jenny Roos live in Gothenburg, Sweden. In a house next to the place where, as they write on their Facebook page, the trams sleep at night. In a city known for its cranes and harbours, a city where a tram can bring you right out to the sea. Maybe that’s where their band name Next Stop: Horizon came from.
Their debut album We Know Exactly Where We Are Going has been compared to cabaret, Balkan music, Kurt Weill and Tom Waits. Their second album The Harbour, My Home will be released in April. In between recordings, the duo spent two months composing and playing the soundtrack for a play at the Saarland State Theatre in Germany. The play was based on Wilhelm Hauff’s fairy tale “Das kalte Herz”, in which a young man sells his heart to make his fortune. The theatre experience and the darkness of the tale linger on The Harbour, My Home.
Whereas the debut album relies mainly on acoustic instruments, the follow-up was recorded on analog but features, for example, electric organs, e-guitars, bass clarinets, Magnus Boqvist on drums and, according to the band, “things you can hit and things that don’t have a name”.
The album begins with a dramatic circus beat and multiple voices speaking of someone “hiding everywhere around” and trying to “get back”. Whether that makes you cheer or withdraw under your duvet, it is an intriguing start. Almost like a musical, the album takes you through whistling rain and spooky, electrified vocals to a cold, swaying harbour and a sighing sea. In a fevered delirium, it wonders who would trade their heart for gold. With a drum beat, it paints a wish. And then.
“Talking Low”. A lilting buzz. Asking God “was there ever sleep in your eyes” and putting a collective insecurity in these simple words: “I’ve got sisters, I’ve got brothers, I’ve got some friends here, too, and we’re starting to feel that we just don’t know what to do”. A neat mess of distorted screams and weird noises. The final two songs change the tone with what seems to be the creaking of an ancient wooden floor and a more organic, old-fashioned sound.
Interweaving threatening beats and soothing harmonies, it makes sense that Pär Hagström and Jenny Roos think of The Harbour, My Home as “emergency lights in an airplane floor” that provide comfort in a meaningless world.
Review by: Anne Malewski
Released 31st March via Tapete Records
Copenhagen – Huset – Musikcaféen
Stade – Hanse Song Festival
Berlin – Roter Salon
Göttingen – Kantine im Jungen Theater
Halle – Objekt 5
Leipzig – Substanz
Frankfurt – 25 Hours Hotel
Neu-Isenburg – Untergrundgalerie
Fürth – Kofferfabrik
Düsseldorf – Kassette
Basel – Zum Goldenen Fass
Sursee – Kulturwerk 118
Bern – Brasserie Lorraine
Zug – Chollerhalle
Zürich – La Catrina
Freiburg – Slow Club
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Köln – Wohngemeinschaft
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