1 июля 2020
‘Fika’ is a Swedish word usually translated as a coffee break, but as band leader Jenny Eriksson tells us in the sleeve notes to the second album from Sydney band Elysian Fields, it’s more about the time you spend with friends and family while drinking the coffee and sharing something to eat. The musicians wanted “to create a beautiful recording that would bring people together as fika does”; hence the album’s title. Their aim of creating a beautiful recording has well and truly been achieved, and once our lives return to some semblance of normality following the emergence of the virus that has shaken the world, Fika will indeed bring people together.
The music on this album represents the ‘fika’ concept, with Scandinavia at the heart of it, and includes music from Norwegian composer Jan Gunnar Hoff, iconic Swedish band e.s.t., a number of Swedish folk melodies and a couple of original pieces from band members, about which more below. The cover image, Pink Lake by Swedish artist Nils Gunnar Zander, is a further nod to the fika idea, his interpretation of South Australia’s salt lakes a wonderful visual accompaniment to the music.
With the exception of the song ‘Vi ska stalla till en roliger dans’ (We are going to put on a fun dance) which is a happy rustic folk dance complete with a folksy violin, all the tracks have a meditative quality to them. The opening track ‘Living’ begins and ends with Eriksson’s electric viola da gamba, a modern version of the baroque instrument that sits surprisingly easily in a contemporary improvised musical setting.
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