Tue. May 28th, 2024

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Album Review: Basko Believes – Melancholic Melodies

3 min read

If you consider yourself an aficionado of finely crafted acoustic folk reflections then Basko Believes, aka Johan Örjansson, latest collection might just tick all the right boxes and find a nice nesting spot within your record collection, if it hasn’t already.

BaskoBelievesMelancholicMelodiesMelancholic Melodies is the name of the singer-songwriters brand new record and the title pretty much sums up the predominantly laid-back pennings the Swedish musician has presented to us with a couple of upbeat exceptions.

He may be a celebrity right now only in Falkenberg, his small Swedish hometown, but he is about to head out on a tour that will take him to Australia at the end of the year to promote this latest Scandinavian seasoned folk record so that may very well be about to change. Sweden, afterall, has quite a good reputation of delivering the musical goods to the worldwide stage.

Vocally, Basko Believes reminds us of Damien Rice and David Gray though still comes heavily equipped with a flair of originality, something you can hear throughout Melancholic Melodies. That is evident particularly on the Americana scented Bottles and Birds, casually strutting in the opening of the record with engaging lyrics and a slide guitar casting a rich Southern feel over the track while the number showcases the musicians complimenting vocal infections, adding a raw quality to the song.

The Yellow Fields is a highlight on Melancholic Melodies with its uplifting rhythm, one of the more momentous within the track-listing here. Alongside a thumping drum sits some impressive guitar wielding, delivering some contrasting effects within the otherwise sedate collection.

Sedate pretty fairly sums up the following Houses. Stripped back and alluring to the ear, Houses also includes some very frank lines with Johan confessing – “I was such a fuck up, the way I fucked up everything”  – in the opening of the song. The song is lyrically bitter-sweet and instrumentally echoes with the singers American folk influences – that slide guitar showing up yet again to steal the show here.

Later in the album a beautifully drawn guitar picked arrangement takes center stage on August Makes Me Cry, a harmony rich inclusion which puts the singers range under the spotlight while the closing Rather Be You, with its delicate piano structure, is the perfect track to close the record.  While a subtle echoed effect is placed over Johan’s voice some occasional female vocals compliment the tracks shuffling melody.

Melancholic Melodies is a beautiful, well-produced record for the Scandinavian who has brought to the table 11 finely-crafted and instrumentally charming numbers that both inspire and captivate.