Back in 2014, singer-songwriter Jacob Johansson released his critically acclaimed debut album under the moniker Det Stora Monstret (The Big Monster). In their review, GAFFA (Sweden's biggest music magazine) named it “Swedish debut of the year and it was nominated for both the Swedish GAFFA-award and the Manifest-prize. Now, Jacob is back with a brand-new venture to sit alongside it: Mount Song.
Together with his band (Karl Vento, Knut Källgren, Lovisa Samuelsson) and co-producer Filip Leyman (Anna Von Hausswolff, Albert af Ekenstam, Det Stora Monstret), Jacob performs songs that describe and question the world we live in with an intensity, sincerity and an urgency so strong, they force you to stop and listen. His songs are poetic, political and have been described by some as relevant on a global, as well as common, existential plane.
Brought up on grunge, Jacob's influences range from the psychedelia of The Flaming Lips and MGMT to the more sombre likes of Jose Gonzalez, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy' and Jeff Buckley, whose rich influences this debut offers more than a glimpse into. Life, love, death and fear also seep into the subject matter and make for an emotional listen at times, however always giving way to an ultimate message of hope.
On the album's subject matter, Jacob says: “I write about that which feels urgent to me, the things that knock me out; my encounters with life's monsters. That which feels most urgent for me in the moment becomes the content of the songs.”
Intimate, heavy and explosive; tracks like 'Wake Up' and 'Guitar On Fire' offer up a hazy, heated tangle of soaring falsetto vocals before descending into a heady, intoxicating mix of shimmering, jangling loose guitars. Elsewhere, ‘Halo’ is a dark, thought-provoking track that explore the sadness that accompanies dealing with life's demons.
While incorporating an absorbing mix of traditional folk-indie tropes with tentative descents into psychedelia and more prog-inspired sounds, Jacob and his band have created an elusive, cinematic and pleasingly philosophical album that is bound to stay with you longer after you finish listening.