Wild Hxmans

TR 419LP TR 419LP

LP version. "In days like these, dominated by dark clouds of marginalization and isolationism, an artist like Christian Kjellvander is absolutely critical to our spiritual salvation. The Swedish singer-songwriter embraces the unknown and seeks out the most profound sense of humanity. Take the title of his ninth album, Wild Hxmans; something is different, disconcertingly so. Kjellvander slips us an X for a U. He forces us to think, sets our senses on edge. We cast our vote with an X, but we also use it to blot out a mistake. 'Cross it out and forget about it? If this is how people treat each other, then we have a problem', Kjellvander suggests. Through seven songs drawing upon folk, blues, Americana and free jazz, the 42-yearold speaks to us of farewells and departures, of escape and the sensation of arriving in a new world. In doing so, he crafts a sound which breathes peacefully, pulsating as he surges headlong from intimacy into deep, oppressive darkness. At times it seems as if his music disappears, only to resurface with a flash moments later. Kjellvander is an empathetic vagabond, a daydreaming desperado. On 'Strangers In Northeim' he ushers something new and untamed into a perfect little town. 'Faux Guernica' is based on a road trip through the Basque country with his youngest son. 'Curtain Maker' is inspired by an encounter in Verona with a woman from Syria; it articulates the unbearable silence which follows a separation. Could a musician face a more paradoxical challenge than creating sound to express this eternal silence? These multifaceted songs are carried by Kjellvander's wondrous voice, with echoes of Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, and David Sylvian. A voice so brittle in the presence of pain shines even brighter in the coruscating conviction that emotions routinely concealed in everyday life will rise up to the surface. On Wild Hxmans, Christian Kjellvander faces up to the unknown and uses it in his art, saying, 'I often find myself in situations or places I haven't got a clue about. So I learn and then I write.'" --Birgit Reuther