Philosophical, even stoical, songs are released at all times and we were inundated with them during the pandemic lockdowns.
Otherwise, a new year is a common time for it, as we hope against hope that better times are coming, safe in the knowledge that they probably aren’t.
And that’s pretty much the drift of Rasmus Nelausen’s new song ‘Recollections’. He writes within a framework where “the conflicts of the past have taken a toll on you that are so big that you can’t manage to look forward, to see the good in the world and move on. And we have to move on, when we, after what seems like an eternity, learn how to let go.”
That statement somehow presages a ‘return to normality’ in 2023, but the ultimate arbiters of that won’t be anywhere in the Nordics or the UK, but rather will be Messrs Putin and Xi.
‘Recollections’ is also a track from an album, ‘Diorama’, his second, and which is to be released in May 2023. (A single with the same title has already been released).
I know you’re desperate to know what diorama means, so I’ll save you the search. It is “a scenic representation in which sculptured figures and lifelike details are displayed usually in miniature so as to blend indistinguishably with a realistic painted background”. A little bit like the plains that the High Plains Drifter roamed and which are perfectly painted into the back wall of Clint Eastwood’s Hog’s Breath bar and restaurant in Carmel, if you ever visited it.
So, as the Bard put it, ‘all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players’. There’s little we can do to change things but on the album he at least tries to record his feelings, his recollections, about the last two years, for posterity if nothing else.
Rasmus certainly has the voice for such strong proclamations. Deep and sonorous, it could be delivering the Sermon on the Mount.
He’s an acoustic guitar man and while he has altered his musical style somewhat for this song, he is no ‘Judas’ – that sound still figures predominately. (How have all these religious references crept in here)?
But there’s some electrical and electronic wizardry added that, together with the acoustic guitar, collectively give it the feel of a John Denver song in a contemporary road movie.
Then out of the blue there’s an instrumental bridge with an experimental feel to it before it rocks out to a more forceful vocal and a sax solo.
All in all a very interesting composition that becomes more satisfying at each hearing and which argues well for the quality of the album.
‘Recollections’ is released on January 6th.
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Photo credit: Elvirah Flor.