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Woodchucker / Jonatan Nästesjö – Leaves Never Leave (Walk Through Records)

Posted: January 28th, 2010, by Pascal Ansell

“I wanted this album to be a story about the Swedish woods, seas and summer nights.”

I like Sweden, I really do, and so this review is seriously biased. Read at your peril!

So: I never, ever read press releases before listening to whatever that whoever’s just sent me. But you can’t beat a personal correspondence with the artist in all his humble and honest self. Prior to indulging in Jonatan’s bubbly warm electronica I read his handwritten note: “This record is about the Swedish woods, I like them very, very much”.

Talking about no track in particular, Jonatan bristles along the edges of sheer beauty throughout the album. He retains a great sense of tentativeness about these pieces, gently probing the subtle. Jonatan’s album smells of Sweden. It is terrifically evocative, blissfully busy in execution. Clips of the woods and birdsong teem with chiming guitars, sweeping about the shoreline. This record is really good, it’s really, really good; it makes me want to shake the rails, to bike ride, eat all the fridge and see my friends. In short, it’s heavily inspiring and heaving with inspiration.

What if Leaves… had nothing to do with Sweden, wasn’t designed with the characteristically understated beauty of Scandinavia? I’d like to think it would evoke something. I’m warming to an association, as we all do. It’s natural to pay more attention to the offshoots of the things that give us beauty and warm experiences. It may seem depressing, but an informed knowledge is a deeper knowledge, our way of getting ‘closer’. And so on, and sun on, and onwards.­

Jonatan commits a forgivable fluff in burning out a little early. This is a constant but by no means fully accomplished album. As for what’s next, I almost want him to “disappear behind the birds”. Which is silly of me. All I could ask him is to keep listening to nature, to keep his ears keen and canny. Yet laying expectation, in any way, is risky. I’ve thought about his upcoming stuff: will he do this, will it help to do that..? I’m aware all of this is smothered in my thorough recommendations. In many ways it’s useless – I should shut up and hope Jonatan will do whatever he frickin’ likes.

*The latest: He’s broken his old laptop. This is good news. New music is on the way.

Woodchucker / Jonatan Nästesjö

Pascal Ansell

Pascal Ansell

Pascal is a fearsome, hungry giant trapped in the body of a hyperactive boy. On a mission to waste no more than 14 seconds per day, he bounds from activity to activity like a deer being chased by a cheetah. Follow him now, as in ten year's time he'll be a leading voice in something or other. He's also writing down every word you say in a small book so watch out!


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