Simon Stålhamrhe’s unique voice alone is enough to stop you in your tracks but when you factor in the fantastic packaging with which he has delivered his debut release to the world, you might well just exclaim a little ‘wow’ (out loud). Let us introduce, Sweden’s very own Small Feet.
The artist in question hails from Stockholm and the release referenced above is Liar Behind the Sun, the debut five-track EP that was released at the end of April (on Kning Disk).
Small Feet is actually made up a trio of musicians, with Stålhamrhe and his formidable songwriting talent no doubt as the central character, alongside fellow Stockholm residents Jacob Snavely and Christopher Cantillo.
Stålhamrhe started making music at an early age but the idea of sharing it with an audience live intimidated him and his first recordings never got shared with the world. A couple of years ago he then met Snavely, who persuaded him to get back into music – first as one part of Rebekka Karijord’s band (see previous luistertip here) before he went on to form his own band. It seems he is enjoying working with Snavely and Cantillo to unleash the new sounds, as he recently positively proclaimed on the the label’s website, ‘It’s so much fun taking my songs to these two and just piecing everything together’.
Ghostly Yet Joyful
It was his piercing falsetto vocals that initially caught my attention. The hauntingly captivating, mournful and heart-wrenching sounds on ‘Rivers’ literally stopped me in my tracks when I first heard it on the radio. I had to investigate further. What I discovered was a collection of honest songs with a raw, lo-fi edge having a somewhat Americana feel. A magical atmosphere is created with the sometimes ‘ghostly and yet often joyful sounds’, with the first track (which has the same title as the EP itself) being the most evidently upbeat to my ears.
The video for ‘Rivers’, above, by Oskar Wrangö is spell-binding and frustrating in equal measures… (why is a man on fire running through the forest??) but it is still altogether pretty awesome all the same.
I was left with an optimistic feeling after listening to all the tracks. And then I saw the aforementioned packaging, and I was positively giddy!
Not about the fact that the tracks are available digitally (here and here) – no. But by the fact that the EP was also available on limited edition vinyl as well as a cassette (yes, you heard right!). And not just any cassette, but the first edition had a navy blue box with silver-foiled lid. Each cassette is printed with unique designs and other delights inside along with the cassette – such as cards and illustrations and other such loveliness. (I have no idea how many copies of this are left – only 99 were made – but I am dreaming of owning one, and I don’t even have a cassette player!)
I also have no idea when we will hear the sound of Small Feet pattering this way (sorry, I couldn’t resist!). The band played Amsterdam in May and if anyone reading this was at that gig, I’d love to know how it was. Please feel free to let us know. Bedankt. 🙂
Liar Behind the Sun – Released 30 April 2013: