CajsaStina Åkerström: Vreden och Stormen

akerstrom1Underground Pilot

Listening Post 68. For a moment, time stands still… A song begins, seemingly in mid-conversation, drawing you in… Suddenly, you are above the landscape, flying on a melody. This is the effect of CajsaStina Åkerström, a Swedish singer-songwriter who started adult life as an archaeologist but changed careers (her father was one of Sweden’s leading folksingers) and climbed to the height of stardom; her trajectory mirrors her steady, soothing voice, with hypnotic lows and mellow highs. Her folk/pop ballads (sometimes with a soupçon of country) transmit calm, even when she sings about solitude, depression or long winters, as she does on Vreden och Stormen (The Fury and the Storm)—the album’s name inspired by Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury. The title track ruminates on being alone, even when we are together: “Fury and storms wane over time,” she sings, “Free souls migrate like islands in a stream/Separated from each other, lost in the dream” (video 1). In Är det så här det känns att komma hem (Is This How It Feels to Come Home?), she likens winter’s end to the return of a beloved friend: “From the cavernous dark, spring breaks out/I was ready to give up, but then you appeared” (video 2). Under samma himmel (Under the Same Sky) explores a common struggle: “Fear is the same, from wherever we come,” she observes, “Trust and friendship glitter like pearls for everyone” (video 3). Across 11 tracks on this album—and more than a dozen albums across 20 years—addressing love or childhood, reconciliation or revenge, wonder or turbulence, Åkerström has provided an oasis of patience. Ever the archaeologist, she takes us higher by digging deeper. (Gamlestans Gammofonbolag)

 


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