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Indie Music Spotlight – Kristofer Axén – The Creek and the Carving

Following 2014’s “Strange Light Music,” “The Creek And the Carving” is Kristofer Axén’s second album. The new album is a multilayered story investigating themes far beyond the heart-break formula. Thirteen songs crafted against a backdrop of dry instrumentation bringing out an immediacy and intimacy of each sound, contrasting the synthesized packaging of many indie acts. Largely a self-produced and self-performed effort, the album was recorded in 2015 during two weeks of hot Stockholmian summer, partly together with drummer and mixer Poul Amaliel.

Fundamentally coming from a Beatlesque melodic language that may summon the tributary work of such contemporary artists as Jason Falkner, the songs also draw from progressive rockers of the 70’s such as Genesis and Procol Harum. The Creek And the Carving is an effort to stretch the musical formula of pop whilst being firmly rooted in the genre’s melody-driven tradition. Surrounding the record’s release, a band of five was formed bringing multiple influences such as rock, jazz and singer-songwriter music to the table.

Kristofer Axén

MusicZeitgeist: What is your musical background?
Kristofer Axén: Growing up I was exposed to a variety of musical styles from excursions through my father’s record collection. As musically bewildered as encouraged I made my first demo at fifteen together with a friend. Honing guitar-skills, I was making small daily notes on hours of practice whilst my sister were learning social skills next-door. At twenty-one I took a bunch of singing lessons from a charismatic old lady in Gothenburg. Memories linger of a high-ceiling room with old-fashioned furniture, sweet flowery water and her life-partner the medium making occasional and quizzical appearances.

I spent most of my twenties figuring out production, learning fundamental studio-skills and fingering on new instruments from time to time. Beside five years of playing songs in front of a teacher from the age of eleven, I started writing songs when I was twelve and have had five years of fundamental musical training on guitar. I received a more thorough musical education by listening to hundreds of CDs of rock, progressive rock, pop, singer-songwriter and hip-hop, whilst working with a printer. It was quite a tumultuous environment, haha.

Stuck in a far from positive life-situation, having tried some years too many to make creative ends meet while working full-time at the printing company, I moved from Gothenburg to Stockholm in 2009 to study and make music.

MZ: Tell us about your band and the project
KA: I’m presently writing progressive pop music/alternative rock and play live in Stockholm. There is a live band that’s presently promoting my 2016 album The Creek And the Carving, but, on the album I play most of the band instruments beside drums, harmonica, violin.

My music stands apart from other “indie” acts with its organic quality inside a dry musical landscape, avoiding synths and reverberation. I experiment with pop melodies inside bent structures and harmonies which is why I sometimes call my music progressive pop.

Both albums are available electronically at a number of sites including Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Google Play, Deezer, Amazon Music, Shazam, Beatport Pro, Digital, Tidal, Juno Download, 24-7, emusic and Rhapsody.

Learn more at the Kristofer Axén Official Site

Listen now to “Marked as a Brick” by Kristofer Axén and other artists we have featured at the MusicZeitgeist.com’s free Indie Music Jukebox

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