Nordic Music Central Viking Hero

Songs for the end of the day 4th April, from Hilding (Sweden), MaidaVale (Sweden) and Pasquale Ivan Dante Rinaldi Quartet (Denmark/Italy)

Hilding (Sweden) – Waste (sample track from the album Love Songs for the End of Time)

Hilding (Halding Karlsson) is a Swedish songwriter based in Berlin. His music, he says, is “a blend of modern pop and classic rock, filtered through a bedroom studio.”

We featured him not so long ago with the single ‘Bone Dry’, which was an early single from his album ‘Love songs for the end of time’, which was released on 29th March and which dealt with being burnt out and looking back on your life.

I selected the first track from the album, ‘Waste’ as the sampler because the vibe is altogether different and edgy and yet melodically very pleasing. Lyrically and vocally it carries the feel of something by The Smiths if you can imagine Morrissey with a gravelly voice.

Musically he manufactures something as anthemic as U2 have ever come up with.

It’s hard to get a handle on the fact that this album has been recorded in a home studio. The mixing and mastering on this track is down to one Jendrik Nissen, who deserves a curtain call for it.

Find him on:


MaidaVale (Sweden) – Daybreak (single/future album track)

Maida Vale used to be a posh area of West London when I lived a few miles north of it as a student in down at heel Kilburn back in the day, complete with the Regents Canal, where Virgin mogul Branson used to moor his houseboat; Little Venice; Lords Cricket Ground; and the Warwick Avenue tube station that the now retired Welsh songstress Duffy warbled on about.

I reckon it has changed considerably since then along with the rest of London. It has also become the name of an all-female Swedish band, albeit with the two words merged into one, and one that started out on the Stockholm underground scene a decade ago. And their music contains the same diversity of elements as the London suburb does these days, intertwining psych, krautrock, post-punk, funkadelia and even North African blues into the melting pot.

‘Daybreak’ is the second single from her forthcoming third full-length album ‘Sun Dog’ and is set at sunrise on the way home from a “late evening.” Yeah, I remember them. Just.

The album is described as “hovering in the borderland between euphoria and melancholy” and I suppose that’s where you head is likely to be after partying until six in the morning with a day’s work ahead of you.

But arguably happy wins out over sad here at least and who ever heard of sad psych anyway?

The best way I can describe it is to imagine Sheryl Crow’s sentiments on ‘All I wanna do’ allied to the rhythm of Men at Work’s ‘Down Under’, and topped off with a manic shred-led freak out.

Guitarist Sofia Ström delivers not only the solid melody but crafts some fascinating little flourishes I haven’t heard since the days of Traffic while Matilda Roth’s vocal sounds charmingly like it came courtesy of a large intake of helium.

You know I tire of reading about The Last Dinner Party and how they are redefining female rock.  Reckon you’re more likely to hear that redefinition in Stockholm judging off this song.

The album ‘Sun Dog’ will be released on May 3rd on Silver Dagger.

MaidaVale are: Matilda Roth, Sofia Ström, Linn Johannesson and Johanna Hansson.

Find them on:




Pasquale Ivan Dante Rinaldi Quartet (Denmark/Italy) – Alone but not (sample album track)

I left this one until last because I wasn’t sure what to make of it at first. For starters, Pasquale Ivan Dante Rinaldi isn’t Danish, he’s Italian as his name suggests. But he spent four (recent) years living in Denmark and the experience shaped his album, ‘Short Story Long’. He also studied there and remains active on the Danish jazz scene.

Moreover, he has recruited three established musicians to help him on the album including the renowned Danish jazz bassist Jesper Bodilsen. So he’s an honorary Nordic tonight.

‘Short Story Long’, an album of nine original tracks, was digitally released on March 29th.

Pasquale composed them with a particular experience in mind, relating to various situations he encountered while living in Denmark. Hence it is a glimpse into the mind of a young pianist, where melancholy and serious emotions such as anxiety, panic, loneliness, and the experience of living alone in a foreign land far from home and loved ones are on the agenda.

I guess that might also have been during the pandemic, which would have made matters worse.

As I often say, the acid test of instrumental works like these is whether or not the composer can convey his or her intentions to you ‘blind’, i.e. through the music and without the aid of lyrics. Apart from the title, would you guess for example that this sample, and focus track, ‘Alone but not’ is about unavoidable isolation of this nature?

And can such states of mind be conveyed through jazz-influenced musicianship anyway? Jazz is known as a vehicle to express many different emotions, from pain to joy, but how do you interpret the sounds you hear, accordingly?

He does it by melancholic trumpet enlivened by screeches that might signify the sudden and unexpected receipt of good news, a rhythm that could underscore a song like Lauper’s ‘Time after time’ if it hadn’t already been written, a maelstrom of notes and wild time signatures representative perhaps of confusion and runaway, uncontained thoughts, and the slow outro of relief at the end of the day, of Hamlet’s “to sleep, perchance to dream.” (And which of course was uttered by the Prince when he thought he was alone).

Now I’ve either hit the nail right on the head there with that analysis or I’m talking pretentious garbage!

The album is out now.

Find him on:




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