It was exactly a year ago that Sofia Nystrand aka Vargkint released her concept album about the sea entitled Hav on Piano and Coffee Records (readers may remember the premiere of the haunting ballad “Drivved” on these pages last spring). Since then, Nystrand has developed a newfound interest in making stop motion films and marks the anniversary of Hav‘s release with a video she created for the album’s evocative opening track “Stormen Kommer”.
The short film both narrates the song and serves as a kind of an introduction to the album that is at once charmingly playful and eerily dystopian, a dichotomy that echoes the tone of so much of the folklore of the sea which inspired it. It is as if we see the sea and the coming storm through the eyes of a child wise enough to know the danger it might portend.
As Nystrand explains in series of background stories she wrote for each of the songs on Hav, “Stormen Kommer” has a second part which appears later in the album which depicts the storm at its peak. The first part however really sets the tone for the record and demonstrates the vivid imagination she brought to the project.
“The opening of the album, is to be seen as the calm before the storm, when you can kind of sense the tension in the air and know that something is about to change. The bowed glockenspiel that is used in the recording is symbolizing distant lights from boats and lighthouses. The sound of the wind that goes throughout the song is something I would have loved to have been recorded on a remote island in Swedish archipelago on a windy Autumn evening, and that’s how I also somehow imagine it. Truth is, it is just me blowing into an SM57 in my living room in suburban Stockholm. I prefer the romanticized version” – Sofia Nystrand
Hav remains available in a limited vinyl edition as well as digital download and streaming. Also be sure to have a listen to this stunningly arranged rework of the aforementioned “Drivved” by Sun Rain (Chad Skinner) which Piano and Coffee Records has made available on their Soundcloud page (also available on Spotify).