01. Once Adreamed
02. Time To Let Go
04. The Unforsaken
05. En Knippa Ljung
Christian Älvestam’s name usually pops up in three separate categories of conversation; why Scar Symmetry was so much better or worse with him, how he manages to play a role in approximately four thousand good bands, or heated debates over his live performances. Now, surprisingly enough, his name can be safely worked into conversations dealing with pop music.
Despite clocking in at a little over 26 minutes, Self 2.0 manages to pack in more hooks than your average fishing trip, grabbing you right from the start with the synth-laden, twist-turn saxophone soloing, undeniably groovy ‘Once Adreamed.’ Much like the songs that come after it, the song provides memorable vocal melodies and well-thought out lyrics in the verses that gently push you along to the gargantuan chorus that’ll be stuck in your head for hours on end. The bonus about this seemingly formulaic approach to a pop song (and pop release) is that it never manages to rely on boring chord progressions, note choices, or instrumentation. Each song has its own unique signature that makes it stand out from the rest, but doesn’t set it too far apart where the release doesn’t flow as a singular work.
Did you really expect Christian Älvestam (ex-vocalist of Scar Symmetry) to have done something that wasn’t fantastic? This is the man that had to have two vocalists fill his shoes in Scar Symmetry. The man who guests on every single album to ever be released and even manages to get a smash-hit electronica song in there with DJ Henrik B. The man with the most jealousy-inducing handlebar moustache ever. Now he’s cranking out astounding pop-flavored tunes on his solo EP, Self 2.0, which is for fans of artists like Michael Cretu (Enigma), Dead Letter Circus, Mute Math and Pendulum. If you’re still not convinced, here’s what Älvestam has to say-
It’s not exactly a secret that I have a weak spot for more pop-oriented stuff – especially in the vein of the sound of the ’80’s. In fact, I have always been listening to softer music, alongside the heavier stuff, which is probably why my own music so often, unintentionally, tends to end up being a mixture of the two. I simply can’t help myself when it comes to merging the aforesaid styles together, it seems. I’d like to call it unavoidable influence, as a direct result of having been indoctrinated with both, from childhood upwards. With that said, fighting against it is not an easy thing, whether you want to or not. At the same time, some would call it a mixed blessing I guess. Anyhow, I wanted to do something a bit different from what I usually do for a long time now and that is to make an all stripped-down and laidback album, where I use my clean vocals only. Those who have followed me since the early days know I’ve made brief digressions, musically, of that sort before, like the ‘Final State‘-trilogy (Unmoored) and ‘Lethean Tears‘ (Solution .45), to name a few, so it’s not like Self 2.0 is me heading out into completely unexplored territory. I’ve been there before, grubbing in its periphery. Then again, I guess you could see Self 2.0 as me going all the way for the first time, if you like!
Self 2.0 will be a digital-only release through Pivotal Rockordings on October 19th!