David´s Angels: What it seems
Underneath it all it´s not always what it seems. Life is ugly, life is beautiful and so is the music that expresses it. Dark sounds and pure melodies, angel like and brutal. The musicians born in the 60's, 70's and 80's are influenced by different styles; jazz, rock and avant-garde.
The band has collaborated with musicians like Ingrid Jensen and Fredrik Ljungkvist. Their debut album “Substar” feat. Ingrid Jensen was released in 2010. “What it seems” is music purely from the world of David´s Angels, newly written by Sofie Norling and Maggi Olin.
Sofie Norling: vocals
Maggi Olin: rhodes/piano
David Carlsson: electric bass
Michala Østergaard-Nielsen: drums/percussion
KOPACD 040169 SEK / 18 EUR
1. What it seems
2. Rid of you
3. Differences (To fast, meaning, learning)
4. When it starts
7. Risking hearts
10. Differences (Rising, standing up, making)
"What it seems" - music by M.Olin and S. Norling. "Rid of you", "Risking Hearts", "When it starts" , "Go", "Sailors" and "Visions" - music by S.Norling. "Differences" (To fast, Meaning, Learning), "Differences" (Rising. Standing up, making) and "Magica" - music by M.Olin.
All lyrics by Sofie Norling.
Recorded by David Carlsson at Gula Studion, Malmö on Nov 2012. Mixed and mastered by David Carlsson. Digital master by Christer Funder. Design by Ninja Agborn. Produced by David's Angels.
"The Swedish quartet David's Angels has proven in its debut release, Substar (Kopasetic, 2010), its ability to encompass emotionally charged issues with expressive, storytelling musical articulations. The sophomore release puts this approach in a more demanding test. What It Seems chronicles the demise of a meaningful love affair and its protagonist, singer-songwriter Sofie Norling making the peace process with its emotional implications— the feeling of betrayal, loneliness, anger but also the needed sense of liberation.
Norling's songs contrast her soulful, melodic delivery with their honest yet brutal content, emphasized with the dark sounds produced by the keyboards of Maggi Olin. Olin usage of distorted, electronic sounds of the Fender Rhodes is often more suggestive of the dramatic emotional distress than the angelic vocals of Norling. Bassist David Carlsson and drummer Michala Østergaard-Nielsen gently frame the emotional substance of these songs.
Norling most convincing declaration of independences are delivered in the songs "Rid Of You" "When It starts." On "Rid Of you" her vocals expose the spectrum of her emotions, from the fragile to the angry, distant and the vain. The funky-soul reciting of the lyrics is concluded with distorted, rock steady beats. "When It Starts" is a play on a waltz theme, but this time the singer-protagonist realizes that she prefers to dance alone.
After establishing her independent statue Norling allows herself to express a fleeting regret over the loss of its lover on the songs "Sailors" and "Visions." She contemplates on "Sailor" the thought of surrendering to the stream of events, reuniting with her partner, and believes that "the sea will lead our way" and on "Visions" she reminiscences fondly her partners significant role in her emotional world.
David's Angels expresses beautifully one of the most tasking experiences in any one's life, in an honest, brutal but finally a comforting manner. "
- Eyal Hareuveni/ All About Jazz
"Swedish vocalist/lyricist Sofie Norling’s new CD What It Seems (Kopasetic), with bassist David Carlsson’s group David’s Angels, is a series of beautiful original songs written in collaboration with pianist Maggi Olin, demanding rugged listening boots. Trek on her off-road sonic geography and hear Norling’s bluesy voice build from soft understatement into powerful cries. You may recognize some genre signposts - jazz, rock and avant garde...as they fuse and fall away. Evolving simultaneously and intersecting with American tradition, the international ‘thread’ in vocal jazz is the new terrain of the tradition. There is nothing lost in this translation, only new sounds to be found." - Katie Bull/The New York City Jazz Record
".. The end result of the sound is a rich color palette, eclectic yet deceptively subtle in approach. There is a spatial grandeur that fills the gaps the music does not. Organic and brilliant are words tossed around so much that they have lost all meaning. Norling's pristine vocals and the subtleties of the drum work of Michala Ostergaard-Nielsen fill an elusive musical void that few voice can carry off with such abstract yet accessible feeling on "What It Seems." The tune "Differences" (Too fast, meaning, learning) is another intimate piece, morose but dancing on the edge of melancholy. "Go" begins with an a Capella opening that virtually no singer could pull off today with equal vocal dexterity. David's Angels is a sonic enigma. Transcending genre while embracing the more organic state of mind there is little doubt this is a most impressive effort to come out of Sweden since anything off the ECM label."
- Brent Black/criticaljazz.com
"When I was handed this CD I was told it was good in parts. But I loved it, all of it, with its 8 rather dark love songs and 2 happier numbers. Perhaps it’s my many years of listening to long folk ballads of murders and intrigue, which has left a mark. The band is Swedish, and the CD has come out just when many things Swedish, such as crime stories are popular.
The style of music shows influences from jazz, rock and minimalism, with repeated riffs, spare drum beats, rasping guitar sounds, rather than the chorus and solo forms of jazz. The musicians are accomplished, a mostly female band, and the singer performs with sweet-voiced sensitivity and gutsiness. ‘Dark sounds and pure melodies, angel like and brutal, says the CD insert.’ I agree. And all original songs, written by Sofie and Maggi.
We start with melancholy piano, slow, loads of space and Sofie singing ‘obviously there was someone else, I don’t feel anything at all’, light percussion and snare, cries of pain from the singer. This is effective late night listening, if you don’t scare easily. This is followed by Rid Of You, the track I liked best, with staccato drums and interludes of happier vocalese in between the singer’s complaints ‘It’s when I’m rid of you I’m starting to breathe – Huh.’ When It Startshas a pleasing Latin rhythm, and in Gothe vocalist shows her abilities well with a capella singing about a lost love, the rest of the band entering later. Sailors, one of the happy songs, is a repeated phrase of ‘stay with me’ sung over beats from the band rather than an actual tune."
- Ann Alex/Bebop spoken here
"There are forms of jazz/art that invite you to delve deep – & this 10-song release features some super-strong jazz vocal work (from Sofie Norling) that will give you cause to pause… as evidenced by one of the strongest (& freshest) vocal pieces I’ve heard in the last 10 years, “Rid Of You“ ! One of the reviewers called their particular form of exploration “new arty death jazz”… while that may be true, the “upside” of music like this is what merits mention – the beautiful Rhodes work (Maggi Olin) on my favorite track, “Magica“, will transport you to the other side of the ether and make you realize that – “yes, it is worth it”! I give David’s Angels a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.8." - Rotcod Zzaj.com