Swedish singer songwriter Joans Carping has just come to the attention of Louder Than War writer Steve Mcgillivray who, in turn, now wants to bring him to the attention of more of us.
Sweden is big news in the UK just now. This may be down to the recent glut of very talented writers from Sweden bringing us The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series, Inspector Wallander and fresh new takes on the vampire genre like Let the Right One In. We in the UK have always had a soft spot for our Scandinavian friends, having a decades old fascination with ABBA, while more recently bands like The Hives and The Wannadies have enjoyed success. Another Swedish musician that’s sure to be a hit with whomever hears his brand of folk / acoustic / country is Jonas Carping. Currently splitting time between Stockholm and Staffanstorp, Jonas Carping is about to self-release his debut solo album.
September 24th is the scheduled release date of the album, entitled All The Time In The World, but before that we have the lead single ‘The Sting’ (see above), which was released on 4th September. Citing people like Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen it’s clear that the ability to craft songs and like the aforementioned artists, he takes life itself as his main influence.
Each song feels like it has a story behind it and the recent single is no exception. A duet with the excellent Sigrid Nilsson, the song is a tale of love lost and one side trying to win it back. The pairs vocals sit beautifully together, giving the song the emotional impact the lyrics describe. “when you hear my name, do you think of me still/does it sting or have you let go?”.
The album itself is similarly strong. Each song is a real treasure and demands repeated listens thanks to the intricacy and complexity of each song. It’s not your standard folk-acoustic here. Backing vocals are used sparingly but when they come in the impact is greater. Cello and violin pop up now and again giving songs more depth and eking out more emotion and tension, while the more traditional instruments sound ever better in the varied aural landscapes created across the album. You’ll have a lump in your throat more than once.
At the end of the day though, for all the extras brought in to create these beautiful songs, they will live or die on Jonas Carping. Safe to say then, that Jonas Carping is the bringer of life. His voice is welcoming, heartbreaking, comforting and tear-inducing. His voice is mesmerising and from song to song it can change, sitting low and conspiratorial on one track, then cracking with emotion on the next. When he sings “I don’t wanna be the one, left in here all alone/I could have been someone too, you know” you’ll have tears in your eyes. This is music that deserves a much wider audience, so go check out one of the links below and pick up some great music.
All words and images by Steve Mcgillivray. You can read more from Steve on LTW here.