Hope On The Horizon
Release Date: 09/14/2007 · Format: CD · Catalog-No: GR 671On “Hope on the Horizon”, Boy Omega (Martin Henrik Gustafsson) follows up his critically acclaimed 2006-albums “The Black Tango” and “The Grey Rainbow”, with yet another impressive collection of songs that showcase the growth of his songwriting. As always when you hear a new Boy Omega-record, there’s something new going on. This time it’s a lot less electronic than before. This is something warm and analog, featuring big walls of strings, horns, acoustic pianos etc. It sounds like dogma 95 movies look like: authentic, melancholic and drenched with the bitter beauty of life.
It’s more of a “band album” than a “solo album”. It features no less than 12 other people playing and singing along with Martin. Except for the regular core-members of the Boy Omega Orchestra (Per-Ola Eriksson, Karin Wiberg and Andreas Lassus), members from other swedish bands such as Tiger Lou, Audrey and Irene also contributed.
The album was recorded over the last two years at various locations in Göteborg, Sweden (mainly Kepner Treg Studios and Musikens Hus), in between tours, other recordings and day-to-day life. It was engineered by Per-Ola Eriksson and produced by everyone involved. The band had been trying out most of the songs live before the recordings started, and since they worked very well that way, they decided to record as much as possible live in the studio, and use first or second takes. “During this period of time I listened a lot to the Van Morrisson-album “Veedon Fleece”, Bob Dylan’s “Blonde on blonde”, Nicolai Dunger’s “Soul rush”, Håkan Hellström’s “Ett kolikbarns bekännelser”, the selftitled Broken Social Scene-album and last but not least, a huge pile of Phil Spector and his “wall of sound”-productions. Those albums were an influence in the recording process. “More is more” kind of became the catch phrase in the studio”, Martin says.
The songs are about them black eyes, the hidden signs, pulling the plug, pulling down your pants, childhood summer memories, animals, alarms, auras, traps, targets, cocoons, buckets of friendship, acts of revenge, threats, bulletproof vests, fire, explosives and their related effects, warm city lights, tram #9, body power, wrongdoings, drinking yourself off the map, fixing a broken heart, dissociation, roofs falling in, far distances, tall grass, sleeping pills, coping mechanisms, late night phonecalls, bent rules, biting kisses, the rising sun and hope on the horizon.
Martin’s voice is the hook. In the past, reviewers have mentioned it alongside Robert Smith (The Cure), Elliott Smith, Win Butler (Arcade Fire), Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes), Will Oldham, Sam Beam (Iron & Wine), Kristofer Åström (Fireside/Hidden Truck) etc. So even if it may be reminiscent of many, it’s without a doubt uniquely his own.
Besides from recording “Hope...”, releasing two albums, a tour-cd (feat. 15 rare tracks and covers), two singles, the split cd “If we were oceans” (w/ Kristofer Åström, Racingpaperplanes and Two Times The Trauma) and appearing on the Magnetic Fields tribute cd “Our love is meaningless”, Boy Omega also managed to play more than 60 shows in 2006. Germany, Austria, The Netherlands and the UK were frequently visited. In the summer they played the Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg, The End of the road festival in the UK along with artists such as Ryan Adams, Ed Harcourt and Badly Drawn Boy. They also did shows together with Isobel Campbell, Akron/Family, The Hidden Cameras and Jason Collett.
This year Boy Omega joined Saddle Creek recording artist Maria Taylor on a 34-day tour through Europe. Martin played 19 of the shows solo and 10 with the band. Germany, Austria, Italy, Croatia, the UK and Scandinavia were visited.
This is the next step in the impressive career of Boy Omega. Martin and his friends have created something beautiful and timeless together. In a sea of imposters, Boy Omega is the real deal.