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Songs for the End of the Day 11th February from Babylon North ft. NInna (Sweden) and Rebekka Louise (Norway)

Babylon North ft. Ninna (Sweden) – Gemini in Black (single)

It seems only yesterday that Babylon North were last here but it was as long ago as October of 2022.

Babylon North made their first breakthrough in Jamaica but have since been heard in the US, Canada, England and around Europe and Africa.

I know they are connected to Swedish independent music maker Tedeborg, who also trades as ‘Climb that Gddm Mountain’ and have in the past co-operated on recordings with the likes of the Anglo-Swedish We Ghosts and Ida Long, but otherwise they remain something of a mystery to me. Perhaps it is meant to be that way. Some bands thrive on a degree of anonymity.

This time out they are featuring ‘NInna’ and I haven’t a clue who NInna is either. It might be Kajsa Kott, who fronted the last Babylon North song we featured, ‘If I cannot hold you back’. The mystery deepens.

But let’s move on to the song. Bob Marley is very much back in fashion right now what with ‘Bob Marley: One Love’, the biopic of the renowned reggae artist, about to be released (on 14th February, Valentine’s Day in the USA). And only the other day Sky Arts here in the UK devoted an entire evening to Marley.

Babylon North made their debut with the Bob Marley-quoting debut single ‘The Last Days’ in 2020 and any reggae artist is going to be connected with him, especially right now.

So it is an opportune moment to air ‘Gemini in Black’, the latest single.

I’ve said previously that reggae often doesn’t always push the buttons for me unless it has a particularly catchy tune, such as the Bob & Marcia version of Nina Simone’s ‘Young, gifted and black’, and you could argue that is only half-reggae anyway.

To be fair to Babylon North, ‘half reggae’ is what they seem to do and very well. I couldn’t classify ‘If I cannot hold you back’ entirely as reggae.

This time there is a pronounced reggae beat and bass line for sure but the vocal is both more soulful and then more rock-oriented than you’d expect from that style and there’s a genre-defying bridge that is delivered on a melodica I think, an instrument that seems to be their favourite.

It’s all intriguing stuff and it’s good to know that such Caribbean chic is alive and thriving in Central Sweden.

Find them on:



Rebekka Louise (Norway) – It was beautiful (single)

A change of gauge and pace now, to use the transport-related terms that dog me in my day to day working toil.

Rebekka Louise was previously with us in April of last year with the single ‘Breathing poison’, one which impressed me with its musical complexity and her vocal dexterity. It is a song which concerned a friendship being ruined by other people casting judgement on a couple and poisoning their opinions of each other.

Joe and Jill Biden; Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce; Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. Happens all the time.

On this occasion she turns her attention to another topic from the land of lurve, this time as Valentine’s Day approaches: namely that “sometimes you must let something beautiful go, so you can learn to love yourself again.” Seemingly It was beautiful’ is representative of the core theme of her forthcoming album.

I’m not quite sure how to interpret that statement. Does she mean that obsession with someone else can lead to a loss of self worth?

It’s difficult to decipher the precise meaning but full comprehension of the lyrics isn’t required to appreciate this very well constructed song, which hangs on a disarmingly simple six note synthesiser melody in ascending and descending scale with piano left hand, the sort of thing that might accompany once of those revolving ornamental dolls that ‘dances’ for you, or a kiddies’ fairground ride perhaps.

Vocally and as with the previous release, she demonstrates her skill in cramming more words into a line that you’re expecting, with all the attendant phrasing that requires. I suppose it’s a bit like an author writing text in which the punch line is only available at the turn of a page or by scrolling down so it is always just out of reach.

I compared Rebekka last time to Polly Scattergood and while she isn’t anything like as manic as the Essex girl – this is a gentle ballad after all – she is equally adept at developing empathy in the listener so that you feel for her.

It’s an enchanting piece that you’ll want to keep listening to.

The only problem – if that’s the right word – that I have with Rebekka Louise is her name. It suggests a mainstream pop star and when she first messaged me I thought it might be with a stereotyped piece of scandi-pop.

Believe me; her songs are anything but stereotyped. There is genuine talent here.

Find her on:


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