Recommended Listening: Kajsa Lindgren - Momentary Harmony
The fall of 2019 was a tough time for me, personally, as I was surprised by a number of unexpected, stress-inducing events while navigating some pretty difficult life transitions. Music was an escape during those months, like has been for so many others experiencing crises in their own lives. I remember looking skyward into blazing red leaves while listening to Leo Svirsky's River Without Banks and completely zoning out for the length of the album. I had Matthew J. Rolin's One Day I Will Be Free on loop - it became my "gonna get through this" pump-up anthem. And I vividly remember walking around my neighborhood with Kajsa Lindgren's Everyone is here buzzing through my headphones, cracking a smile whenever the 19-second track Friends came on.
I got though those hard times eventually, feeling a bit better by the spring of 2020, and am happy to say that I'm in a much better place today. Those fall 2019 pieces have stuck with me though - reminders of life's highs and lows. Kajsa Lindgren's follow-up to Everyone is here comes out in early June, so consider this preview a "recommended listening" (because Momentary Harmony is simply great), but it's also a note of appreciation. No idea if you'll ever read this Ms. Lindgren, but if you ever do: thanks a bunch for your music.
Kajsa Lindgren, courtesy of Recital, photo taken by Hampus Andersson.
Everyone is here was a collection of archival field recordings - short little sound bites that the artist unearthed in her parents' old basement, but on Momentary Harmony, Lindgren showcases a completely different sound. She was a student of classical music growing up, which is evident from the opening cello rips of Abundance - a standout track. Voice, violin, and piano carry the title track, which is a beautiful, droning instrumental work. We've squeezed past the dusty old boxes in that aforementioned basement, climbing stairs and emerging in a cavernous, high-ceilinged sanctuary. Sounds are free to roam up here, echoing all around us.
Halfway through the album, Punes is another highlight. This piece opens with static, but then a choir's melody carries the song skyward. It is a supremely gorgeous construction. Two tracks later, we arrive at an apex: the seven-minute Korral. The longest song on Momentary Harmony hums along on a level plane, so perhaps "apex" is the wrong descriptor, but it seems to breathe a quiet power.
The album is a stunning listen, really, so make sure to catch Momentary Harmony when it's released via Recital on June 4th. Find it through this link now, available for preorder, and catch a preview track below.