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Somewhere (Sweden) – Bridges (single/future debut album track)

“The Swedish band Somewhere plays classic prog rock and draws inspiration from the style-forming progressive bands from the genre’s golden seventies: King Crimson, Yes, Genesis and Emerson Lake & Palmer” said the PR.

That’s the story of my misspent youth in a nutshell. Travelling the UK to watch those bands, on rickety old buses that you could never be sure would get you there in one piece, or in my knackered old Minivan with a couple of mates and the lady stuffed in the back; travelling on a wing and a prayer. And then do it again next week, and again.

The same PR is at pains to point out though that it is all their own work, without sounding like or plagiarising the old ‘giants’; and I concur, as I’ll explain in a second.

Their back story is that two old pals bumped into each other in the street after not seeing each other for years. As you do. I wonder how many times I’ve repeated that story in here.

Discovering they were both fans of 1970s progressive rock they later teamed up with a multi-instrumentalist and began to share ideas. The ambition was (and still is) to create music that has the spirit of that original classical progressive rock.

‘Bridges’ is the first song they wrote, rearranging the product of numerous jam sessions. And it was written as so much prog was back in the day, with various and separate instrumental parts in the middle forming the base around which it was – like a bridge I suppose – built.

Next came lyrics, which actually feature on the song from the get-go, with no intro, on the subjects of compassion and identification, the glue being that those traits are also ‘bridges’, in this case between people, as long as those people can accept them.

“They are not you/you are not them/and somehow still the same/but your eyes are closed”

It is typical prog length – six minutes and 20 seconds. Not a great deal of it is in common time that I can hear. It is grandiose but mercifully never bombastic. Synthesisers float over what are pretty heavy and chunky guitar chords.

There’s a very Genesis-like bridge in the middle which might have come from ‘The Fountain of Salmacis’ or perhaps that weird interlude in ‘Suppers Ready’ that precedes ‘Apocalypse in 9/8’.

Apart from an Emerson or Rod Argent keyboard freak out in the third quarter my impression is that it is constructed fundamentally a la Yes; some of the guitar parts especially reminiscent of Steve Howe’s style.

But there I go, making comparisons where I shouldn’t be. This is new, and fresh and very much of today. Somewhere haven’t been together that long and they are a work in progress but their own bridges have secure foundations and the essential ingredients are in place for them to stake a major claim in the re-emerging prog world (did it ever really go away?) and not only in Scandinavia.

Since the band started, Somewhere has played a few gigs and spent lots of time in studios. Members have come and gone but presently the plans are to play live again and record more material. “The drawers are full!” as they say.

‘Bridges’ is taken from the band’s forthcoming debut album, which will be released this autumn.

Somewhere comprises:

Paul Näsström (drums, backup vocals), Johan Nyberg (bass), Fredrik Lundberg (keyboards), Fredrik Cerha (guitars, backup vocals), John Thelin (lead vocals).

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