"I wanted to make a bare, quite soft album...hardly without
any rythm...and in some way combine traditional acoustic instruments,
grand piano, acoustic guitar,strings etc...with more ambient
sounds and weird effects...."
- John Alexander Ericson
After releasing three albums in the 90´s with his former
band The Northern Territories
(see discography) the band decided to take a break at the beginning
of the new decade.
It didn´t take long though before John Alexander decided
to start working on his first ever solo album.
Originaly from Sweden Alex began writing in the demo studio
in his hometown Uppsala (a small town in the Stockholm area).
Though he soon decided to move the base permanently to Berlin,
for inspiration and change of scenery.
In a rented flat in the former eastern part of Berlin work
progressed on the album that very early had the working title
'Songs for quiet souls'. Nights were spent in many of the local
bars and most of the lyrics were penned in the small hours...
just to be recorded the very next day.
"most of the songs were written quite fast on acoustic
guitar...the chords plus the vocal melody just singing a nonsens
Then I would keep the melody in my head and go out to some all-night
open bar and write the acctual words.It was a quite nice working
Records John Alexander listened to at the time were from the
likes of Lou Reed, Leonard Cohen, Nine Inch Nails, Tim Buckley,
Sigur Ros and Jaques Brel... to name a few artist that might...or
might not have influenced the music...
Most of the material was recorded at home straight into the
computer...but for the mix and the overdubs the decision was
made to finish the album at K4 Tonstudios in Berlin, located
by the river Spree in a former DDR radio broadcasting studio.
Over a few weeks time with the help of a few local musicians
(strings, piano, backing vocals)
the final touches were put to "Songs for quiet souls"
The track "A world you´ll never reach" was
chosen to be the first single/promo and a video was shot on
the roof of a 27-storey building in the Mitte-district, downtown,
Berlin. The black and white video is starring Berlin actress
Rahel Salvodelli and was directed
by Maya Puig.
"The original idea was to make it a very sparse album...though
in the end it turned out a bit more spacy then what I first
intended...but that´s the way it is when you make music....you
have one idea but then the music takes over and decides where
it wants to go. But i´m very happy with the end result.
I think it´s a beautiful album with a very special vibe
to it...I like it a lot...and the fact that it sounds quite
different from a lot of stuff out there..."
Songs for Quiet Souls