IN A LIFE AND PLACE LIKE THIS - GOOD HARVEST
LCM ALBUM OF THE WEEK
Release Date: 31st March, 2017
Genre: Indie Folk, Acoustic
Band Members: Hanna Enlöf & Ylva Eriksson
Location: Falan, Sweden
Record Label: Space Station 12 / BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd
Tracks: 15 or 16 (with extra live bonus track)
Scandinavia has long been a hotbed of great music and musicians and Hanna Enlöf & Ylva Eriksson of Good Harvest are the latest excellent emerging acoustic duo. Based in Falan in Sweden their music has been described as "extraordinary beautiful, emotional and well crafted". They call themselves musical twins, which shines through the inter-weaved harmonies and excellent interaction on stage. Quite simply they have the 'wow!' factor. Conjuring the vibe of modern groups like The Staves and First Aid Kit and Joseph while echoing classic 'Laurel Canyon' musicians like Joni Mitchell and CSNY. To best describe their music, imagine a mix of how Simon & Garfunkel play together add the harmonies of Nick Drake and finish of with the strong approach and narrative style of Gillian Welch.
Their journey together has had an impressive start and along the way they’ve garnered a vast and devoted fanbase. It seems almost unlikely that it hasn’t been more than three years since they randomly ended up on a stage together and found their musical home in Good Harvest. In 2014 they released their debut EP 'Bottom Dollar'. 'In A Life And Place Like This' is their exciting new debut album, full of high quality music and great promise for the future. Not only have they held concerts for the King of Sweden, they’ve also appeared live on Sweden’s main national radio station several times and toured all over Sweden. Among the many great things that has happened since this astonishing duo started out, they’ve been awarded with the title ‘Newcomer of the Year’ at Dalecarlia Music Awards, given a songwriting scholarship at Live at Heart and played at huge venues such as the South By Southwest Festival in Austin, TX and Stockholm Music & Arts 2015.
The album contains 14 original tracks and a cover of the Joni Mitchell classic 'Woodstock'....and maybe an extra surprise (see below). It was recorded in their home town at Power Station Studios except the final live track which was recorded at 'The Barn'. All songs were produced by Erik Berglund and Good Harvest. All songs were arranged by Hanna and Ylva. They are also joined on the album by Svente Henryson (Bass & Cello) and by Bjorn Sima & Erik Bergland (Percussion & Drums).
With echoes of retro 'Laurel Canyon', Fleetwood Mac and First Aid Kit the album opens with the wonderful 'Pilgrim' one of the lead singles. Instantly memorable with some excellent arrangements and harmonies. You are instantly transported to America's sunny and vibrate West Coast. It's one of my favourite tracks on the album.
The reflective 'Linger Long Enough' is another beautiful written track. 'There are many hearts that beat just to be broken and there are hearts that feel no pain at all. Some will follow all the rules of the game. Some will never linger long enough to fall'. With it's soft picked double acoustic guitar and great cello solo 'Far Beyond' is written about 'The space between one life and another. Far beyond the blue, I'll follow you". I really like the lovely build to the next track 'Waker Of The Heart'. It has a great feel of nature and openness. "Waker of the heart we will abide. We search, we thirst, we fight for our lives. Long lost in the memory, the touch of spring. Hidden in the ground that we trample. 'Til you make it spout. Wanderer of this land, I wonder how you make the strings of life. Sing your song"
Moving firm into rich Americana territory and the mid-west 'Wolves' comes complete with some clever howling vocal harmonies. It has a real theatrical quality and it wouldn't surprise me to see the track on a TV, movie or advert soundtrack. 'Don't think you know me' is the central theme of the reflective 'Closet Of Your Mind' "Some may say they know me. Mapped my every whim, plumed my depths and colours. My shades, my tears, think they know it all. Take your views and stuff it away, in the closet of your mind. Neatly folded on shelves of green and blue. Filed away and lost. Filed away eternally"
'Charly' was the first lead single and a great taster of the new debut album's themes and feel. It has an instant hook and is a perfect commercial track for mainstream radio. It has a beautiful mid section of interplay between Hanna and Ylva's dual acoustic guitars with their soaring harmonies blending and perfectly complementing each other.
With hints of Stevie Nicks, 'Hitchhiker's Luck' is co-written with Craig Stanton Thomas. Its rousing and full chorus will sound great live with a full band. The album's first instrumental is the gentle 'Trasten' with its sublime interplay of dual acoustic guitars.
'Only To Fall' leads us back to Joni Mitchell's Laurel Canyon home in the 60's. Beautiful arrangements and rich lyrics once again, which are the hallmark of quality on this album. Once again with lyrics by Craig Stanton Thomas. A branch broken by the wind, a ship running into a gale, a heart broken by a friend and a child wanting to grow old are all the wonderful and deep metaphors in the track. "I wish I'd know you. I wish I'd seen through your smoke screen hiding. I wish I'd been true. I wish I'd know you."
The track leads perfectly into another gentle reflective track 'Failing Arms'. The tempo builds into a stunning ending complete with brooding cello bassline and soaring ethereal Clannad-like harmony vocals returning back to gentle fade-out. "All the stories we have shared in life. Now written into a sad song soundtrack.....I'm about to fall....Fall into your falling arms". The tempo rises again for the Americana flavoured 'Three' another mid-west movie-like western soundtrack. "Three long days and still no sound. For time is always silent. Hear the bells of morning chime and daylight flowers...Saints or sinners, who's to blame, know the truth and know my name". With it's traditional folk song themes the nautical 'Sail & Brow' paints a sad but beautiful picture of two lovers and a tragic ending at sea...loneliness, misery and death the three staple topics of folk music. 'The Passing' is the second instrumental on the album. Atmospheric, slightly electronic, short and sweet.
Originally written by Joni Mitchell in 1970 'Woodstock' the album's live bonus track is a classic cover. Hanna and Ylva version is true to Joni's originally arrangement rather than the CSNY or Matthew's Southern Comfort version that followed shortly after. Their cover has a new freshness and richness. It's a wonderful way to close the album, which is a perfect blending of old and new.
If you have have the Spotify album version you also get another bonus track, a live cover version of Bob Dylan's 1964 classic 'Times They Are A Changin'.
For our Swedish readers a recent interview with Hanna & Ylva on Swedish TV4 talking about their debut album and musical influences.