Jakob Lindhagen

Premiere: Jakob Lindhagen unveils video for The Tipping Point by Sergio Díaz De Rojas

By Sergio Díaz De Rojas

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Sweden-based composer, music producer and multi-instrumentalist Jakob Lindhagen has vast experience transforming visual elements into beautiful sounds. Some of the most notable examples of this are his film scores for the critically acclaimed Skörheten and Palme d’Or nominee Push It. However, the idea of doing the opposite never crossed his mind… until now.

Lindhagen teamed up with director and screenwriter Gabriel Schock to bring to life the music video for The Tipping Point, one of the most beautiful tracks from his latest album Paces, which we reviewed last year. Filled with experimental resources, nordic landscapes, and a few city shots, the video seems quite introspective, communicating fear and anxiety at times but mainly solitude and a longing for answers. Answers that will arrive naturally as the protagonist understands that it is necessary to go along with the current of life, even if that means going back to where all started.

Maybe that is what these visuals are about, maybe it is just my subconsciousness talking through it. Either way, this captivating work of art combines perfectly with the music of Lindhagen, and marks the ideal visual debut for an artist that has always been able to introduce you into his own world even with your eyes closed.

 

Paces by Jakob Lindhagen by Sergio Díaz De Rojas

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On September 22nd this year, Jakob Lindhagen – known for composing the breathtaking film score for Skörheten, among other things – released his solo album Paces, an intriguing piece of art, centered on the piano while incorporating white noise from faltering microphones and birdsong from early morning recordings. We are already familiar with Lindhagen’s phenomenal talent in portraying and displaying emotion, and his more experimental side, only briefly explored in the expanded version of the Skörheten soundtrack, is certainly showcased in this solo release.

With no time to waste, Paces starts off with Kenopsia, establishing a sense of melancholy ringing true to the meaning of its name – the eerie, forlorn atmosphere of a place that is usually bustling with people, now abandoned. The ringing noise, in waves of increased intensity, has an almost trance-inducing effect; the maddening sound has you trapped, with small crashes at times jolting you from the lonely room to which you’ve been condemned. All the while, the soft narration of the piano tells the story of your destiny, a welcome contrast to the harsh, torturous buzzing, locking you in place.

In Shelter, a different kind of loneliness takes form – the noises seem to be of a busy street with too many impressions, all smudged together, and you in the middle, disconnected. There’s ringing, spinning, but one steady point in the cautious piano, the only sane thought in an ocean of turmoil. The album moves towards a more blissful spirit, The Tipping Point sounding, with its gorgeous harmonies and zealous strings, like a soft-spoken person suddenly speaking with passion burning beneath every word, and I need only to sit back and listen, in awe.

In The Machinery shows the epitome of the homely sound Lindhagen has mastered. The fascinating noises of electronic buzzing and clicking create an intimacy so palpable I can practically touch it, and it engulfs me in the warmth of home and family; with the beautiful build-up of the tireless strings and inspiring piano, this track is positively exploding with eternal hope. The hope is carried further with Overcoming, starting off as a reflective, slow-burning track, suddenly transitioning into a joyous, youthful folk-melody.

Paces certainly lives up to its name – the atmosphere of the album changes yet again, as Afterwards tells a mournful, ghostly story, as haunting as it is beautiful and grand. As previously, it seems Lindhagen releases all of the energy he has left into the very last track – S, 47 is a deeply emotive, expertly told story that sticks out from the rest; like an afterthought that turned into a paradigm of its own, this track is like a whole separate entity, patiently waiting for you to reach it, and listen. It takes its time, all the while knowing you will be engulfed in its flawless rhetoric, and it proves the perfect ending to Lindhagen’s stunning album. 

 

Skörheten by Jakob Lindhagen by Sergio Díaz De Rojas

By Amanda Nordqvist

After its successful release in 2016, Skörheten (Fragility) – a Swedish film about crippling anxiety – was granted several nominations and awards; based on director Ahang Bashi’s own issues with panic attacks, the film had an incredibly important task in portraying quite the difficult subject, and managed to do so expertly with the help of the intricately invested soundtrack, proficiently matching the desperation and delicacy of the film. The soundtrack, written by Jakob Lindhagen, stands just as tall on its own, and was recently re-mastered and released by 1631 Recordings, with the addition of three bonus tracks.

The eerie intro sets an immediate scene – an excellent teaser of what Lindhagen will build onto, of distinctive melodies with unsettlingly vivid personalities; the piano seems to hold a monologue, each terse note delivering an unwanted truth. After starting off sharp, defensive almost, the tracks quickly slip into deeper water, despair tingeing the tracks, Ett Mörker (A Darkness) paves way for Mottagningen, a track that explores further the confusion and unease, and builds to Varför Mår Jag Dåligt? (Why Do I Feel Unwell?) – a track that indisputably seems like a question unanswered, ending in a soft yielding to the unavoidable scenario that it provokes.

Läggas in? (Be hospitalized?) introduces some new elements, a sense of denial suddenly rushed into the relief of being taken seriously, and thrown back into not wanting to look, and be looked at, too closely. The album takes on a more experimental form for the next few tracks, until Lindhagen takes us back to the beginning with Samtal Med Roxy, a gentle reminder of where we’ve been before and will be again. He repeats and reinvents himself in my favorite track of the album, Jävla Ångest (Fucking Anxiety), and quickly moves on to the title track – an ode to the beginning, the eerie, hollow sound, vibrating on the verge of a breaking point – fragile but determined to push on, push harder, edges blurring, ears ringing – a track made grandiose by its blissful doom.

The bonus tracks add another layer to the album and seem to be a summary of the things Lindhagen hadn’t had the chance to express previously, and though an abrupt ending to an otherwise slow, graceful album, they showcase a side to the musician only briefly explored. Skörheten is an incredibly important soundtrack to an equally important film, and I couldn’t be happier with the decision to release an extended version of the album. Even with tracks screaming frailty, Lindhagen has a strength to his sound that is awe inspiring, and his impeccable way of portraying the emotions relevant to the story is, frankly, chilling. 

Stream and download Skörheten on Spotify and Bandcamp.