(Kning Disk) 


Released 14th October

The debut album from the Bon Iver, Mogwai and Explosions In The Sky influenced Albert Af Ekenstam. From Sweden. A melancholic  and poignant affair if ever there were one.

Helped out by singer / guitarist Sumie Nagano, trumpeter max Lindahl and drummer / keyboardist / producer Filip Leyman, all adding their jazz tinged and post rock influences,  ‘Ashes’ remains  on the surface a straightforward singer/songwriter album. With a more ambitious twist.

The theme of loneliness with an underlying hope runs through the songs which display a quality of both intimacy and a more grand expansiveness. ‘1996’ and its partner piece, ‘2006’s reverberating  ambience might be a bit sub Pink Floyd but opens up a world of flowing and serene passages  which alternate with moments of more brooding intensity and volume.  Even songs like ‘The Devil Bird’ which might appear initially  straightforward,  slowly and stridently build upon a  melodic indie hook, developing into a full widescreen soundscape. A more sparse mood takes ‘Walking’ and the sweeter sounds of  ‘Falling’ although they follow a similar path in shifting gear  and moving onto a not so much dynamic but pulsating and course towards a retrained climax.

Yet what emerges ultimately is an alternative  post rock  vibe that sweeps across  the songwriting and the arrangements. Accompanied by a voice that has a resigned and world weary quality  and coarseness which is easy to get lost in. An album for those times when you can sit down and chill out, eyes closed in the dark. Remember them?

You can listen to ‘Walking’ from the album here:


You can find Albert Af Ekenstam  online here:

He is  also on Facebook  and tweets  as @EkenstamAf

All words by Mike Ainscoe. You can find more of Mike’s writing on Louder Than War at his author’s archive. He can be found on Facebook and his website is

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Mike has been contributing to Louder Than War since 2012, rising through the ranks from contributor to Sub Editor and now Reviews Editor. He brings his eclectic taste to the table with views on live shows (including photography) and album reviews, features and interviews from rock to metal to acoustic and folk.


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