Just under a year ago, I had the pleasure of witnessing and reviewing BIG I BRAVE perform live at the Ramsgate Music Hall in Kent. While I loved seeing the band play, at the time I had no awareness of the support act, so I was in no way prepared for the understated force of nature which is Fågelle. Over the course of forty-five minutes, I bore witness to an event, so unique, and all consuming, that it left me completely awestruck by the entity known as Fågelle.
Since then, the debut album, Helvetesdagar, which I purchased after meeting with the artist, has had regular play on the household vinyl player, and its true wonder, time and time again, has left me completely speechless.
Helvetesdagar was released in 2019, and since then, with everything that has gone on globally, it’s been a long four years to get to this point, where Fågelle is just releasing her latest opus, the insanely great Den Svenska Vreden. It’s an album dripping with emotion, mysticism, and wonder, which will leave your soul caressed and confused, both at the very same time. It’s hard to believe that such a work of art has been created by one single entity, but that’s exactly what’s transpired here.
Fågelle, the working guise of Klara Andersson, is somewhat of a mystery. A Swede living in Germany, making experimental Nordic themed ambient electronica, obviously isn’t going to be the first thing that would spring to anyone’s mind, so the fact that this exists is a complete revelation.
On a personal level, Fågelle’s music is always a cathartic experience, and I will literally fight anyone who dares to not be challenged, or changed, by the experience. Such is the power, that even within the confines of what music even is, this, at times, transcends music, and falls into art altogether. Such is its aural beauty, if you dare to close your eyes, you will be rewarded right down to your very core.
Den Svenska Vreden, which translates as ‘the Swedish rage’, is an unapologetic, eleven-track journey, of self-discovery, both for the artist, and the listener, which truly needs to be witnessed to be believed. There are moments of pure uplifting joy, paralleled with passages of bitter darkness, mournful, and reflectively sombre.
Each track is performed in her native tongue, so, if like me, you don’t speak Swedish, then I think the understood experience may differ slightly, but even with the language barrier, this work needs little explanation. It rolls through like a curse on the soul, leaving the listener to make assumptions, and experience the work in a way that transcends mere words.
It’s disjointed yet elegant, and with a real sense of darkness….
Tracks such as Ingenting, are powerhouses of understated emotion, and even on this alone, the need to press repeat and relive the feeling over and over, is overwhelming. Truly gut-wrenching, this is four minutes of dreamy bliss, that will take you away, long after it’s even finished. But I’m jumping ahead, lets step back, and put into context who you would be likely to draw comparison with, so you know whose ballpark you’re in.
Definitely a less erratic Björk, and far darker, this is still where I believe most would point towards for sound. I believe it’s a fair comparison, but don’t let that dissuade you from discovering Fågelle for yourselves, she is far less flamboyant, in fact, when it comes to the product, there’s no comparison. Fågelle hits all those spots Björk could never aspire to, and doesn’t rely on an over-the-top personality to keep herself relevant.
To truly capture Fågelle’s world, you need to look towards tracks such as Aldrig Mera Här, and Jag Går När Jag Är Klar, as both show a different insight into the versatility. The first of the two gives an open view into Fågelle at her most unique self. It’s disjointed yet elegant, and with a real sense of darkness. The latter is a journey into an opaque sonic abyss, where time is limitless, and the soul is weightless.
Tracks such as Kroppen shake things up, and the inclusion of a second vocal, courtesy of Joakim Thåström, makes for a full-bodied mournful sonnet. The pairing of the vocals is as warm as it is homely, and both work beautifully.
I could go on, and on, and on, about the tracks, the artist, and the experience, but I feel like I’ve already done the leg work for you, and all that’s left to say is if you gravitate towards an experience musically that gives you a richness in your soul, then this is the album for you.
It’s an evolution without a departure, the perfect follow-on to Helvetesdagar, and to have been given the opportunity to write about this work really has been a privilege, as this is exactly why I came into reviewing, for these moments. This album is a ten, the benchmark has been set, and now, anything less than Fågelle is going to be incredibly hard to see with such open eyes….
Scribed by: Lee Beamish