Be forewarned…the brand new Swan/Koistinen EP is a sobering four track collection. In the time of the endless scroll, we often talk about hyperbole and boost hopeful hyped artists. But, here we have two established musicians, Astrid Swan and Stina Koistinen crafting four songs that document their experience as cancer survivors; it’s four songs of these two women putting that experience on the table for all to see. Musically, I’m drawn to the throbbing pulse of “Hospital,” while I’m also growing to love the arrangements that accompany “Symptoms.” Honestly, it’s a tough listen lyrically, but perhaps one that provides many a fan with solace…ultimately ending in the joy of “Singing.” Just wanted to share it with you all; it’s available from our friends at Soliti.
This is a special song, written at one point for a special moment, celebrating and sharing the stories of two co-survivors and what it means to live as a sick woman. The two voices here are Astrid Swan and Stina Koistinen, both whom have battled diseases and bring you music to enlighten us about their experiences. This number deals with the powerful emotions of diagnosis, but in telling that story, the depth is established by the song’s arrangement; it’s sparse and emotional, aided by the string work of Owen Pallet and light electronics/piano bubbling from the depths of the song. The Swan/Koistinen EP will be shared with the world this coming May via Soliti.
It’s a shame that great art sometimes stems from personal pain, which seems to be the case with Finland’s Astrid Swan. After a battle with cancer, she got back to work, constructing a brilliant collection of the tunes that make up From the Bed and Beyond. It’s apparent in the lyrics that she’s had to confront and overcome some demons coming with such an ordeal. But, in seeing that, and delving deep into the record, you find that there’s an aura of positivity that arises from overcoming fears. I’m partial to the album’s closing number “Whos the Witch Now,” which seems to encompass the feelings mentioned above. The album will be available worldwide from Soliti Music.
Astrid Swan has one of Finland’s most powerful voices, though a battle with breast cancer in 2014 briefly had the pop songstress stepping back. But, she’s back again, making a powerful statement as she confronts the remaining fears from her experience. Her battle’s personal, but it’s also relatable for any of us who’ve been faced with the concept of death…that’s what makes music so powerful. The song has this huge feel to it, filled with backing chorus and careful orchestration to really bring the notes home to the listener. Her new album From the Bed and Beyond is being released by Soliti on March 3rd.
It’s been a trying journey the last few years for Astrid Swan, battling cancer just after her last release. As one would expect, the music she’s crafting now is reflective of that experience…looking back on the trials, the dreams and the hopes for what comes next. You’ll hear that in this new tune, our first listen to the work she’s put into her new album. Musically, there’s a pulse, allowing her voice to filter in carefully atop, offering respite for her, and for listeners, with her lyrics. The album is not completed as of yet, but expect to hear it some time in 2017.
Over the years, we’ve bonded with Finland’s Soliti Records. They’re a small label in a small country, but those of you in Austin could be in for a treat tonight if you’re up to heading out to Strange Brew for an evening of music. Astrid Swan, wife of label owner and musician on the label, is playing there this evening. She crafts these beautiful pop tunes, built around the strength of her vocal performances. It’s an opportunity to welcome our friend to our fair city, but also to get a glimpse of musical happenings from around the world. The gig starts at 8 PM, so we hope you can make it out…you never know when she’ll make it out.
Up until now, the music we’ve gotten from Astrid Swan has been pretty mellow, which is well and good, but today we’re finally able to share with you one of my favorite tracks from her album, Astrid 4. Of course, the song features the great vocals that have been present on everything we’ve shared with you. To me, this illustrates the diversity that you’ll find on her new record, from ballads to upbeat numbers, all of which are well-produced. You can order the Astrid 4 from our good friends at Soliti Music.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/06-Black-Bear-A-Hoofer-24bit-mastered.mp3]
Download: Astrid Swan – Black Bear & A Hoofer [MP3]
Those of you who aren’t living in Finland probably have no idea who Astrid Swan is, and that’s okay, though sad in the long run. The track below comes from her 5th album, Astrid4, and this is one of the many great moments you’ll find. Her voice is quite strong, which is probably what first attracted me to the singer’s work, but the accompaniment here is what completely sold me. While the stile is different, incorporating various horns and woodwinds provides listeners with something that’s rare in pop music…a classical touch that’s creative and not forced. You can pick up Astrid4 from Soliti Music now.
Not too long ago we told you that Astrid Swan was working on wrapping up her 5th studio album, Astrid4. Today we bring you another new track from that release, which shows the minimalist artist broadening her sound. The piano is definitely playing the skeletal background role here, with rolling drums and horns lurking in the background. Their union provides an emphatic punch to the song itself, allowing for the sensible pop listener to fall head over heels. This record will see a release by Soliti on October 25th.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/02-Four-Months-To-Kill.mp3]
Download: Astrid Swan – Four Months To Kill [MP3]
Astrid Swan was the first signee with my favorite little label, Soliti Music; her first release was all Pavement covers. On this new single, you’ll see her expansive creativity, as she works the song in slowly for almost two minutes. About that time the piano begins to bounce more heavily, with off-kilter percussion accentuating the vocal. It’s definitely a song that’s going to take careful listening, but I think for a rainy day here in Austin, it’s perfect. You can find her new album Astrid4 coming to you sometime in the fall of 2013.