Premiere/Dominic Valvona




Mike Gale ‘Go Help’
Video track taken from the upcoming album The Star Spread Indefinite, released 25th September 2020


A tropical-lilted wistful tiptoe sauntering continuation of the plaintive beachcomber Beach Boys sound that permeated the reclusive polymath’s output for a number of years, Mike Gale once again does wonders with another disarming yet disconsolate bobbing beauty, ‘Go Help’.

The former Co-Pilgrim and Black Neilson instigator has been highly prolific of late with last year’s Pacific Ocean lulled sorrow Summer Deluxe album, a recent compilation of (far from) unfinished works and B-side ruminations, paeans and breezes entitled B, C, D Side Volume 1, and a lockdown mini-album Sunshine For The Mountain God. And now with this precursor video track Gale announces the release of his next fully realized songbook, The Star Spread Indefinite; released on the 25th September 2020.

“A celebration of the value of quiet contemplation and the pursuit of solicitude and calm”, lockdown it seems may have just suited Gale, who retired from live performances in 2018. Inspired, in part, by escaping the daily divisive barrage of noise, Gale has also been reading Justin Hopper’s The Old Weird Britain book; in particular the passage about the ancient artwork found scratched into the wall of a flint mine in Sussex, who’s discoverer, rather poetically, embellished it with the title that is now borrowed to adorn Gale’s upcoming album.

 

Premiering today on the Monolith Cocktail, we have the ‘Go Help’ video, made by the photographer and video maker Jussi Virkkumaa, who juxtaposes the song’s quiet “dystopia” unease with a rotation of revolving surrealist objects: from a mannequin’s hand in a steaming bowl to fidgeting fauna and a stuffed crane like bird. Virkkumaa has this to say about his visual accompaniment and the song:

“Well I think that what I love about Go Help, is that I got a feeling of happy isolation, and little by little I begin to question the lullaby-kind of tune to be something more to the dystopian. It delivers (for me at least) a feeling of lost control, but at the same time there’s beauty. I tried to go kind of a similar route, choosing symbolic figures, which are in an absurd environment, just rolling around endlessly. I think the situation could be something like the Voyager’s golden record flying in outer space, just in case, a time capsule to burn in some distant planets atmosphere.”

 

If this latest effortless sounding wash of Afro-Caribbean lilt, Beat Connection surf noir and 80s pop snuzzled trumpet is anything to go by, then Gale’s cosmic-dreamily entitled The Star Spread Indefinite is set to be another languidly beautiful affair.






Related posts form the ARCHIVES:

Mike Gale  ‘B, C, D Sides’ Review

Mike Gale  ‘Summer Deluxe’ Review



Hi, my name is Dominic Valvona and I’m the Founder of the music/culture blog monolithcocktail.com For the last ten years I’ve featured and supported music, musicians and labels we love across genres from around the world that we think you’ll want to know about. No content on the site is paid for or sponsored and we only feature artists we have genuine respect for /love. If you enjoy our reviews (and we often write long, thoughtful ones), found a new artist you admire or if we have featured you or artists you represent and would like to buy us a coffee at https://ko-fi.com/monolithcocktail to say cheers for spreading the word, then that would be much appreciated.

PREMIERE/REVIEW/Dominic Valvona



Luke Mawdsley ‘Misery Gland’ taken from the upcoming album Vulgar Displays Of Affection, released on 24th July 2020 through Maple Death Records.


For those of you with a morose curiosity you’ll find that Luke Mawdsley’s metaphorical river of consciousness runs deep with it. The former Mugstar guitarist circumnavigates the dark waters of trauma and anxiety on his second solo outing, but first for the caustic experimental Italian label Maple Death Records, Vulgar Displays Of Affection.

Billed as a “cathartic meticulous journey brimmed with emotion and failure”, Mawdsley’s spoken-word mise en scène dictation is masked with a warped and slurred daemonic vocal effect, both menacing and disdainfully as it splashes around in the mire of minimalist industrial electronica and the harrowing flagellations of Scott Walker. Plumbing the depths Mawdsley’s one part King Midas Sound, one part the more deranged examples of a “verbasier programmed” Bowie on the Outside album removed voice pours a lucid string of vivid depictions and despair into the listener’s ears. Today’s premiere track, taken from that upcoming album, is a case in point; the murky generator throbbing and wretched stained ‘Misery Gland’, a vision of Einstürzende Neubauten trading blows with Coil, seers with despondent spoken monotones and more speeded-up demon giggles.

The scene is set with sonorous rings, strung-out tremolo, hammerings and knocks, tight-delayed repetitive drum machine hi-hats, fizzles and a looming threat of synthesized atmospherics. It is a stench as much as a tonal soundtrack that reaps a malady of industrial noise, drifting esoteric blues and the Lynchian. An uncertain, anxious and often sinister creeping discourse on the themes of sexuality and disorientation, this haunted murky generated dungeon music draws from a well of disillusion.

The lyrics themselves either slither through the mulch of a mashed-up brain or almost predatory turn subjects into the lurid and dangerous. There are various play-on-words type track titles, from ‘Vauxhall (Cavalier) & I’ – a space-echoed car boot lubricated with a threatening musk – to ‘A Grudge Supreme’, and a chilling Ry Cooder blues fantasy built around the fictional parody of the Dr. Steve Brule hosted public access psycho-analysis spoof Check It Out! – the naïve Brule character played by John C. Reilly, expunges by happenstance horrifying details of his life story whilst discussing a range of topics. Sometimes despite the pain, distress and that creepiness, Mawdsley can offer a twisted sort of humour with the surreal images he conjures up. And the music does offer some lovely melodious waves, and even the glimmer of something less suffocating.

‘The River Takes It All’ declares the album’s finale; an increasingly distorted caustic and hostile wrangle of a climax with tortuous appeal, the waters of which threaten to engulf. A deeply revealing experience of the lurid, coarse, disturbing and vivid, Mawdsley’s immure vulgar displays rest wearily upon the shoulders. In this cursed time of uncertainty and vehement argument, the pained artist struggles through the miasma of indignity to create a drip-feed of chthonian distress.

 

Ahead of its release, we bring you the premiere of the album track ‘Misery Gland’.


Maple Death Records · Luke Mawdsley – Misery Gland



Hi, my name is Dominic Valvona and I’m the Founder of the music/culture blog monolithcocktail.com For the last ten years I’ve featured and supported music, musicians and labels we love across genres from around the world that we think you’ll want to know about. No content on the site is paid for or sponsored and we only feature artists we have genuine respect for /love. If you enjoy our reviews (and we often write long, thoughtful ones), found a new artist you admire or if we have featured you or artists you represent and would like to buy us a coffee at https://ko-fi.com/monolithcocktail to say cheers for spreading the word, then that would be much appreciated.


Premiere/Dominic Valvona




bedd ‘You Have Nice Things’
Single/26th June 2020


Tenderly building upon the understated elegiac beauty of the previous single ‘Auto Harp’, the Jamie Hyatt led musical project bedd once more open up their hearts on the sad but charmed pop conversational ‘You Have Nice Things’.

Speaking thoughts out loud, or rather in hushed tones with a choral wash of harmonies, a lonesome Hyatt contemplates what it all means from atop of his wooden step ladder as he gazes out and reflects in an array of locations, from tennis courts to industrial estates and parks. Enigmatically shot by filmmaker Liam Martin, in and around the Oxford town in which Hyatt is based, the video accompaniment to this pining single seems a poignant reminder to the loneliness and isolation of the Covid-19 lockdown.

Though it can’t help but evoke the times we live in, the theme of this sighed ponder is universal and timeless, as Hyatt explains: “the track starts as a quiet conversation – almost a confession – that opens up into an unashamed celebration of the mundanity of existence, the beauty of the everyday and our perceived sense of our own successes and failures”.

The singer, songwriter and producer manages to expressing those feelings with few, but and just enough, words backed by a sort of Britpop (an air of Gene in there) chamber pop accompaniment of reverbed lingered guitar, anthemic ascendant rises and when it hits, handclap drums and dissipated washed cymbals.

‘You Have Nice Things’ is released on the 26th of June 2020. The Monolith Cocktail is delighted to be sharing the single/video a day in advance.

Before we hold you up any longer, and premiere the video, just a little background about bedd.

Hyatt is a longstanding Oxford musician known for his previous bands The Family Machine, The Daisies and Medal, as well as his score for the film Elstree 1976.

Alongside him, this extended ensemble is made up of a range of celebrated local Oxford musical talent, including bandmates from his previous project The Family Machine in the shape of bass player Darren Fellerdale and guitarist Neil Durbridge. Also in the mix are guitarist Tom Sharp, electronic musician and producer Tim Midlen (also known as The Manacles of Acid) and drummer Sam Spacsman. You Have Nice Things was recorded and produced by Hyatt with the band at Glasshouse studios in rural Oxfordshire and mixed and mastered by Robert Stevenson.






Hi, my name is Dominic Valvona and I’m the Founder of the music/culture blog monolithcocktail.com For the last ten years I’ve featured and supported music, musicians and labels we love across genres from around the world that we think you’ll want to know about. No content on the site is paid for or sponsored and we only feature artists we have genuine respect for /love. If you enjoy our reviews (and we often write long, thoughtful ones), found a new artist you admire or if we have featured you or artists you represent and would like to buy us a coffee at https://ko-fi.com/monolithcocktail to say cheers for spreading the word, then that would be much appreciated.

PREMIERE/Dominic Valvona



John Poubelle ‘Pléistocène Supérieur’
(Commando Vanessa) LP/23rd June 2020


Amorphously combining the beatific Lutheran morose of Nico with diaphanous choral arias of the atavistic Catholic Church, Louise Burger’s debut cassette tape and digital album for the burgeoning Italian label Commando Vanessa invokes a transmogrified vision of holy music for the 21st century.

Under the solo alias of John Poubelle, Burger reimagines the sacred and classical hymns, songs and psalms of her formative years on a soundtrack of both mysterious beauty and bestial esoteric alarm: A counterbalance of the hallowed and unsettling, the coarse and ecclesiastical sublime.

“Raw and beautiful imperfection(s)” permeate a sonic and vocal ether that Burger has called “punk fragile de sous-soil” – fragile punk of the subsoil. Tethered to the earth, the chthonian, Pléistocène Supérieur sees the artist shake off the dirt of the subterranean (most of the time anyway) to drift towards both unworldly and spiritual realms. It’s an imaginative spell of dank dungeons; stained glass anointed prayer and circumnavigated projections around the sun.

Though riding solo, recording in the “twilight” and “solitude” of a home studio, Burger carries over the veiled cooing falsetto vocals and pedal effects experiments from the Gran Diavolato duo with Gianlorenzo Nardi. At times the invocations are haunting, and almost chilling, at other times more monastic like Popol Vuh in a Medieval cloisters. Lower baritone chants from some hidden holy order are often laid down as quasi-bass drones, whilst Burger floats like an apparition above: touching the cathedral ceiling frescos.

This reverberated venerable but also so often foreboding atmosphere is broken up with a combination of early lo fi Mute label post-punk electronica and somber moans. Sucked through and back into a mix of bellowed harmonium, the industrial and ceremonial, Burger creates an abstract alternative to the music of the liturgy.

The Monolith Cocktail is honored to premiere a teaser from this both caustic and beautiful choral album with our readers ahead of the official release on the 23rd June 2020.






Hi, my name is Dominic Valvona and I’m the Founder of the music/culture blog monolithcocktail.com For the last ten years I’ve featured and supported music, musicians and labels we love across genres from around the world that we think you’ll want to know about. No content on the site is paid for or sponsored and we only feature artists we have genuine respect for /love. If you enjoy our reviews (and we often write long, thoughtful ones), found a new artist you admire or if we have featured you or artists you represent and would like to buy us a coffee at https://ko-fi.com/monolithcocktail to say cheers for spreading the word, then that would be much appreciated.

Premiere/Dominic Valvona



Campbell Sibthorpe ‘Good Lord’
Single/16th June 2020


Musically it seems that trope about leaving the stifling claustrophobia and humdrum of a small town behind for stimulating adventures in the big wide world never gets old. But I think many of us can relate to the feelings of being stuck-in-a-rut; the need to breathe in pastures new, or even “transcend” to loftier heights of self realization, as the Australian born but raised in a small town outside of Bristol, rustic yearning troubadour Campbell Sibthorpe does on his latest humbling single, ‘Good Lord’. A kind of reverent rural gospel plea, Sibthorpe heads out on a musical pilgrimage of self-discovery; the most aching iteration of “Who am I?” left ringing out in the last section of this considered mini-opus: answered right at the end as the venerable seeker coos “I will find out”.

Speaking about the track, Sibthorpe says: “I wrote Good Lord before moving away from home. I’d walked around the village one day and maybe it was seeing a dead bird on the road or the noticing of how empty the streets were but, in that moment, I realised how stilted and stagnant my life had become, and that I had to leave”.

Fans of such harmonious troopers as the Fleet Foxes, Fyfe Dangerfield and The Shins will find much to admire this beautifully considered, paced dreamy prayer like anthem that rolls through the changes, highs and lows.

The Monolith Cocktail is premiering ‘Good Lord’ ahead of its official release date on the 16th June 2020. The latest in a string of well-lauded singles, this newest rustic-devotion will also be included on the forthcoming EP YTown, due to be released on the 21st July 2020.

The singer songwriter and multi-instrumentalist first started playing gigs around Bristol whilst working as a cleaner at a local school in 2017. Quickly gaining a reputation for his passionate performances, and shortly after releasing his debut EP Sky Lily, he upped sticks and moved to the London metropolis the following year. He has since gone on to support artists including The Staves, The Magic Lantern, and Hannah Lou Clark and received support from Radio X, BBC Introducing In The West, and Folk Radio UK among others.






Hi, my name is Dominic Valvona and I’m the Founder of the music/culture blog monolithcocktail.com For the last ten years I’ve featured and supported music, musicians and labels we love across genres from around the world that we think you’ll want to know about. No content on the site is paid for or sponsored and we only feature artists we have genuine respect for /love. If you enjoy our reviews (and we often write long, thoughtful ones), found a new artist you admire or if we have featured you or artists you represent and would like to buy us a coffee at https://ko-fi.com/monolithcocktail to say cheers for spreading the word, then that would be much appreciated.

Premiere/Dominic Valvona 




Admlithi ‘Radal’
(In Black Records) Single/22nd May 2020


The mysterious Scottish enigma Admlithi returns from the veils with a minor opus of gossamer and gliding synthesized hymnal beauty. Following on from his 2018 debut album for Armellodie Records, Tyrants, the producer and multi instrumentalist breathes diaphanous life into his latest mini-opus ‘Radal’; a hushed, attentive epic that takes its title from the manufactures of the buoyant tubular sounding electronic tabla that drives it along (purchased, we’re told, at a car boot sale for five pounds: now that’s what you call a bargain).

Already using an eclectic palette of post-punk, electronica and jittered psychedelics, with influences as diverse as The Associates, The Chameleons, Kate Bush, Kraftwerk, Japan and Erasure, Admlithi now channels the sophisticated searing and atmospheric synth work of Vangelis as he subtly reaches towards the heavenly stratosphere. Yet despite the reverent and unearthly vapours, lyrically the song is about “trying to dig tunnels back to the happiest time in your life only to find the earth is full of boulders.” Travails have seldom sounded so scenic and hallowed.

The Monolith Cocktail is delighted to be sharing that single, released through our pals at the Glasgow label hub In Black Records, ahead of its release on the 22nd May.






Hi, my name is Dominic Valvona and I’m the Founder of the music/culture blog monolithcocktail.com For the last ten years I’ve featured and supported music, musicians and labels we love across genres from around the world that we think you’ll want to know about. No content on the site is paid for or sponsored and we only feature artists we have genuine respect for /love. If you enjoy our reviews (and we often write long, thoughtful ones), found a new artist you admire or if we have featured you or artists you represent and would like to buy us a coffee at https://ko-fi.com/monolithcocktail to say cheers for spreading the word, then that would be much appreciated.

Premiere Single/Dominic Valvona




Provincials   ‘One-Armed Swordsman’
(Sacred Geometry)   Single/Video


Released during the tumult and crisis of 2019, in the throes of post-Brexit negotiations, alternative-folk duo Provincials produced the mesmerizing and spellbinding miasma The Dark Ages. At the time it can be seen as a protestation against the forces of Nationalism, even Imperialism, but as Covid-19 reaps its harvest and sweeps across the world in 2020 you can’t help but see it now as an augur of an all too real plague-crisis Dark Age. Despite the dread, the duo portrayed that Domesday dystopia with a diaphanous lulled and beautifully administered deft touch, painting a bleakly poetic diorama of being swept under a despairing riptide. That album – the duo’s second – was an increasingly more experimental move away from the serene changing-of-the-seasons joyful reflection of their earlier work, especially the Ascending Summer EP: which seemed like a dreamy folk ode and peaceable traverse of the English scenery.

Meandering along a path that stretches from the Norman church dotted shingly shoreline of the southeast coast of Romney to a revenge-soaked Iberia, taking in the trauma, stress of The Crimean War and WWI, Provincials conjured up a lamentable present on that last minor-epic. Recorded in the same period but left off the album, today’s premiere ‘One-Armed Swordsman’ was deemed perhaps too wild, different and incongruous to sit on that songbook. Not a problem, as the duo has found the ideal time to release it as a separate entity in the most anxious of epochs, and furnished with a rustic-set esoteric symbolized video, shot in lockdown isolation. In separate rural homes, Seb Hunter hangs his head wearily from atop of the stable, strains the lyrics from some dusty tome form behind his eagle like garden sculpture and re-strings his ‘baritone-growled’ guitar, whilst siren foil Polly Perry flails and dances round the Theremin. Both exude the pining mood of our alienated stasis.

A precursor to their third LP (scheduled for the Spring of 2021), to be released on Weird Walks co-founder and psychogeography musical artist Owen Tromans’ marvelous expletory landscape inspired label, Sacred Geometry, this gnarled, grunge-y plaintive tumult was recorded and produced by Dan Parkinson at Wooden Heart Studios, Hampshire. Dan also plays the grinded-out drums, which take time to emerge from the opening sustained gristle and entanglement of Hunter’s experimental guitar and Polly’s Theremin fluctuations lead-in.

A pained expression waiting to be let out, the encumbered ‘One-Armed Swordsman’ sounds like a torrid merger of Swans, Dinosaur Jnr. and Ultrasound. Marking a change perhaps in direction, this single may have been recorded in less daunting times, but encompasses the feelings of disconnection and nervousness in the now. We wait to hear the results of lockdown on the Provincials next album in the Spring of 2021.





Related posts from the Archives:

Provincials ‘Dark Ages’ Review

Provincials ‘Ascending Summer EP’   Review

Owen Tromans ‘Between Stones’   Review



You can now support the Monolith Cocktail via the micro-donation platform Ko-Fi.

Hi, my name is Dominic Valvona and I’m the Founder of the music/culture blog monolithcocktail.com For the last ten years I’ve featured and supported music, musicians and labels we love across genres from around the world that we think you’ll want to know about. No content on the site is paid for or sponsored and we only feature artists we have genuine respect for interest/love. If you enjoy our reviews (and we often write long, thoughtful ones), found a new artist you admire or if we have featured you or artists you represent and would like to buy us a coffee at https://ko-fi.com/monolithcocktail to say cheers for spreading the word, then that would be much appreciated.

Premiere/Dominic Valvona




Yonic South   ‘On’
(La Tempesta Dischi)   Taken from the upcoming Twix & Dive EP/14th May 2020


Almost sweet and breezy in its cause static fuzz, busy shimmered bed of cymbals and chewed up slacker guitars, today’s premiere teaser showcases an earlier, more naïve, heart-on-the-sleeve incarnation of the Italian switcheroo Sonic Youth mischief makers, Yonic South. Taken from the upcoming new EP, Twix & Dive (which, as the title might suggest, is at least partially a fascination with the famous chocolate caramel bar), ‘On’ strikes a dang chord before slipping into a yearning howl of scuzzy, bending lo fi.

Following up on last year’s debut EP Wild Cobs, the garage punk agitators have already gone nostalgic with their latest record; going back, as they have, to the heady early days; back before they corralled, current, drummer ‘Johnny Lad’ into the band. Twix & Dive is made up of both brash post-punk derangements and more dwindling C86 Anglophile guitar dirges: the sound of a band finding their sonic calling you could say.

With an interest for UK culture of the 90s and 2000s, the Italian troupe of members from the Bee Bee Sea and Miss Chain & The Broken Heels fraternity, turn in a raucous garage punk rumble of Oasis’s ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Star’, and pen a hypnotic Hooky bassline imbued grinding tribute to one of Anfield’s finest, Steven Gerrard (now, interesting fact, managing my own preferred Glasgow club of Rangers). Just one of many fascinations – previous popular culture icons of fun include the viral Techno Viking – an obsession with Liverpool football club results in a eulogy like track suffused with the sound of the Kop ringing out as the anointed footballer reads a farewell message to the stands.

For those unfamiliar with the Yonic South’s fanaticism and surreal humour, their sound is a cacophony of Thee Oh Sees, Black Lips, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Country Teasers and Swell Maps.

Their prolific touring schedule has seen them deliver riotous live performances around their native Italy and on a recent European tour, which saw them share stages with the likes of King Khan, Preoccupations, and Warmduscher.

For your aural displeasures, the Monolith Cocktail presents teaser, ‘On’.




Hi, my name is Dominic Valvona and I’m the Founder of the music/culture blog monolithcocktail.com For the last ten years I’ve featured and supported music, musicians and labels we love across genres from around the world that we think you’ll want to know about. No content on the site is paid for or sponsored and we only feature artists we have genuine respect for /love. If you enjoy our reviews (and we often write long, thoughtful ones), found a new artist you admire or if we have featured you or artists you represent and would like to buy us a coffee at https://ko-fi.com/monolithcocktail to say cheers for spreading the word, then that would be much appreciated.

Premiere/Dominic Valvona




Simon McCorry  ‘Pieces Of Mind’
(Close Recordings)  Single/24th April


We’ve been spoiled of late with a flurry of Simon McCorry releases, this being the second ‘premiere’ of his work to be hosted by the Monolith Cocktail in recent months. The Minimalist Acid Techno imbibed ‘Pieces Of Mind’ single however is an entirely different composition to the previous standalone ambient peregrination single ‘The Nothing That Is’; that was a stirring suite of atonal art borne out of the acclaimed composer and cellist original score for Javaad Alipoor’s play Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran – which premiered at Traverse as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2019.

Subtle, incipient with Techno undulations, metallic springs and nodes working away below the chiming polygons and skirting zinc, ‘Pieces Of Mind’ channels a myriad of influences from the 90s acid/warehouse scene; artists such as Plastikman, Autechre, System 7 and The Orb, the latter for whom he has recently opened for. Personally, this was in my humble opinion the golden age of the burgeoning electronic music scene. It’s where I first cut my own teeth as an aspiring DJ – I’ll save that story for another day if you don’t mind.

As Simon explains, “composed entirely with the analogue mono synth the Dreadbox Erebus, ‘Pieces of Mind’ is an invocation of nostalgic memories of pre-dawn wanderings around London after warehouse parties, taking in the freshness and calm of the morning before the madness of the city came roaring into life”.

Not so much a change in direction, as an excursion, we should be used to McCorry’s constantly expanding explorations; this is an artist after all that has performed in arenas as diverse as the concert hall, the church and the gallery space. An artist who’s just as comfortable composing and manipulating frayed and bowed cello articulations and field recordings as he is constructing a synthesized memory of the 90s rave phenomenon.

Airing a day head of its official release via McCorry’s own Close Recordings imprint, ‘Piece Of Mind’ is officially released on Friday the 24th April 2020.




Background

Originally born in London to mixed Indian/British heritage, McCorry trained in cello at The Centre for Young Musicians & Morley College then studied philosophy at Durham University. He is now based in Stroud, Gloucestershire. As a performer McCorry is well travelled, he has performed at many prestigious events and institutions including in Orlando Warrior with Julia Cheng at the South Bank as part of China Changing Festival 2017. In 2019 live highlights also included appearances at Stroud Jazz Festival and Camp Elsewhere in Wales alongside Alabaster dePlume and Snapped Ankles.


Related posts from the Archives:

The Nothing That Is Premiere

Border Land LP Review



The Monolith Cocktail is now on Ko-Fi:

Hi, my name is Dominic Valvona and I’m the Founder of the music/culture blog monolithcocktail.com For the last ten years I’ve featured and supported music, musicians and labels we love across genres from around the world that we think you’ll want to know about. No content on the site is paid for or sponsored and we only feature artists we have genuine respect for /love. If you enjoy our reviews (and we often write long, thoughtful ones), found a new artist you admire or if we have featured you or artists you represent and would like to buy us a coffee at https://ko-fi.com/monolithcocktail to say cheers for spreading the word, then that would be much appreciated.

Single Premiere/Dominic Valvona
Press photo/Ola Elmquist




David Åhlén   ‘If I Have You’
(Jivvär)   Single/17th April 2020


A beatific longing of hymnal beauty, the brand new whispery veiled single from the hushed falsetto Swede David Åhlén is a most reverent ethereal plaint from the spiritual soul. Released ahead of the upcoming If I Have You EP on the 17th May, the title track angelically ushers in the Island of Gotland based singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist’s communicative passion for the Christian liturgy.

Retreating to that island community of Gotland and with the space and skies of island existence Åhlén took time to start studying mystical Christian texts, and to take on board the space and peace of the work of musical mystics such as the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. He was particularly moved by the Biblical Psalms, lyrics such as “deep calls to deep in the roar of your waters” are directly inspired by Psalm 42, as David explains “many of the lyrics for the EP are about the mystery of our soul speaking to God and the longing that follows”. Musically steeped in this traditional influence and spiritual yearning, ‘If I Have You’ is elevated further towards the heavenly by the inclusion of the diaphanous holy tones of The Boy’s Choir Of Gotland and a sympathetic chamber ensemble.





Åhlén’s previous releases have found international acclaim, with glowing reviews and radio play all over the world – especially for his similarly holy inspired 2016 LP, Hidden Light. Previous to that his 1921 duo toured extensively, supporting such luminaries as Peter Broderick, SOHN and Loney Dear.

The If I Have You EP is production collaboration between Åhlén and Swedish producer Manne von Ahn Öberg, who is known for his work with artists such as Stina Nordenstam and Nicolai Dunger, and features a host of congruous musicians and voices. The Monolith Cocktail is delighted to be able to premiere, in the UK, the showcase title-track ahead of its official release on Friday 17th April.




Hi, my name is Dominic Valvona and I’m the Founder of the music/culture blog monolithcocktail.com For the last ten years I’ve featured and supported music, musicians and labels we love across genres from around the world that we think you’ll want to know about. No content on the site is paid for or sponsored and we only feature artists we have genuine respect for /love. If you enjoy our reviews (and we often write long, thoughtful ones), found a new artist you admire or if we have featured you or artists you represent and would like to buy us a coffee at https://ko-fi.com/monolithcocktail to say cheers for spreading the word, then that would be much appreciated.

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