The first of these ‘Down Memory Lane’ features in Nordic Music Central zeroes in on the Central Swedish ‘melancholic pop/electro/indie’ band Baron Bane, which is celebrating two album anniversaries this year.
Baron Bane were the first of many artists I began to hear coming out of Gävle in Central Sweden, circa 2009 if I remember, along with their half Swedish/half English vocalist, Ida Long, who has a separate career of her own and which drew me to the area. It was the start of a long journey.
Then, in 2016, after I’d started writing about music and especially Nordic music they were the first band from the entire region that I travelled there to see, when they released their third album, the imaginatively titled ‘III’. So it’s ‘III’s fifth anniversary this year, and it’s also the 10th anniversary of their second album, ‘LPTO’. You get the idea? LP2. Then ‘3’. Keep it simple. Keep it numerical.
Lord knows if here will be a ‘4’. You don’t have to be a Math major to work out that one is in fact due this year but as they typically take a couple of years to record (they’re perfectionists) and I’ve heard nothing about a new one it looks like that isn’t going to happen anytime soon.
Which is a shame. It’s difficult to identify precisely their style. There are elements of mainstream pop, EDM, psych and prog in what they do and anyone who has more than a passing interest in any of those genres will be drawn to them. They’ve described themselves as “an artsy-fartsy indietronic outfit for fans of Radiohead”, which I reckon isn’t far off the mark.
Moreover, they are highly competent at generating atmosphere, especially in their live shows. When I saw them at ‘III’s launch party they played songs from all of their albums with the personnel allocated to different rooms within their recording studio and even perched halfway up a wall on balconies.
Talk about Dolby Stereo. The music seemed to be coming from everywhere and the audience were right there next to the musicians. I had to shuffle forward to avoid Petter Diamant using me as a crash cymbal. When I wrote about that show I described it as one of the best I’d ever attended and that remains true to this day.
While they’ve released a 2021 Five-Year Anniversary edition of III, with re-mastered tracks and remixes, the album I focus on here is ‘LPTO’ as it’s the one I first heard and because they are doing the same with it – putting the finishing touches to the ‘LPTO’ 10-year anniversary re-master right now.
I could have selected any of the 10 tracks from it; none of them is ‘filler’ by any stretch of the imagination. In the end I opted for two. The first one that is the most listened-to on Spotify but I’ll reveal its video here because it’s bizarre nature might give you some idea of what their surreal stage act is like. This is ‘My Slow World’
The second is the final track, ‘And the flare will spark’, which remains my favourite track of theirs to this day. They finished the set at the ‘III’ launch party with this song and the atmosphere was electric.
There are few videos of live performances of ‘And the flare will spark’, and none that weren’t recorded on phones to the best of my knowledge. This is the best I can find, from a festival at Örebro in 2011 and it doesn’t convey the sonic experience of the live show too well. Again, the surreal nature of the show is evident, with a blindfolded Ida Long, the other members with Pinocchio noses and obscure films showing on screens in the background.
The band seems to have taken down its website, which contained lyrics and all manner of useful information but they can still be found on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/baronbane/ .
They’re still active as merchandisers so hope remains eternal that there will be some new music from them at some time in the future.
Baron Bane is:
Stefan Aronsson – guitar
Christer Jäderlund – keys
Rasmus Diamant – bass/keys
Petter Diamant – drums
Ida Long – vocals