You know how it is, sometimes when you’re drawing up a list of something you just can’t remember the name of someone that you want to include on it. That’s the ‘some’ of it.
Eventually it dawned on me, at about 05:00 on Sunday morning, that an artist I had intended to include in this year’s Songs of the Year was Ljug Aldrig, and specifically the song ‘Seashells’, a collaboration with the Swedish singer Elliphant that I found quite enchanting.
One of the reasons it was lost from view so to speak is that it was released, unusually, on 30th December 2022, so strictly it is not a 2023 song but went public in that no-man’s land between when the 2022 list was published and the end of the year.
The same will probably happen again, and a song being released right now will end up being considered for ‘Songs of 2024.’
Anyway, to get to the point, Ljug Aldrig is ‘Roosen’, a visual artist, singer and songwriter from Stockholm. Roosen holds a Fine Art Master’s degree from the Royal Academy in Copenhagen and has quite a history in the art world.
His political philosophy was shaped by a political group of left-wing anarchists who moved into the apartment next door during his troubled teenage years, also introducing him to literature and music.
His band’s main influences are The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Iceage, and Roy Orbison; a rather eclectic mix.
‘Seashells’, which was written in 2007, features Swedish singer Elliphant who has worked in support of the likes of Major Lazer and Diplo and their harmonies work surprisingly well, with and without technical manipulation.
There’s a clever little moment towards the end when the song audibly ‘flatlines’ as they sing of her inability to hold her breath long enough as she seeks the words to express her relationship to him.
His raw, guttural vocal style reminds of arch pseudo Yorkshire/Scottish anarchist Alex Rex (Alex Neilson, of Trembling Bells fame), while her almost ‘little girl’ style here could complement anyone.
Musically, the six and a half minute song takes you on a melodic journey that waxes and wanes in instrumentation, arrangement, content and intensity.
I often say this but it is a song that requires much more than a casual listen. Catch the musical flow first time then focus on the philosophical discussion the second time around.
Find Ljug Aldrig on: