Dösjö is and old Swedish word I came across with while reading Wilhelm Moberg’s book series The Emigrants. Literally, it translates to “Dead Sea” and is poetically described as “remains of old storms that haven’t found peace”. I have used the actual shipping forecast throughout the song, a sound that instantly takes me back to childhood memories of being out at sea. Putting it in this context makes it much less nostalgic and much more ominous, though.
Fyr translate to “Lighthouse”, and is told from the perspective of one. The repeated sound throughout the song is supposed to remind of old morse code and ongoing light signals, as the song tells the story of how the lighthouse has seen several ships and sailors pass by through time, guiding some of them right but also being the last one witnessing others that have later disappeared. Although it has seen many ships sink, it still calls out the light signals in the hope of calling the lost souls home.
Drivved was the first song that I wrote for this album, and it has been with me for a long time. I’ve been inspired by a creature in Swedish mythology called the “Havsrå”, a guardian of the ocean who appears as a beautiful woman near the shore, luring men into the water to drown them. The song tells the story from the perspective of a young boy, who can’t resist but to follow her although warned by fathers in generation of the dangerous, seducing power of this creature (I also kind of enjoy the flipped gender perspective, that instead of mothers warning their daughters it’s the fathers warning their sons not to talk to strangers). As foretold, the young sailor is drowned by the Havsrå, and his body ends up floating like driftwood (“drivved”) out on the ocean.
As a way of letting everyone interested a bit closer into this record, I will publish small stories about the songs —the inspiration, ideas and stories behind them— during the following weeks. I’ll post them in chronological order, starting with the first track: Stormen Kommer I.
Its title translates to The storm is coming and has two versions. This one, 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 symbolising 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.