På skive

Q

«Up Up Up»
ILK284LP

Q – Qarin Wikström – is the Swedish, Copenhagen-based experimental singer-composer-lyricist known as the leader and co-leader of diverse and versatile projects as Kostcirkeln, Shitney, Sekten, Orbit Stern & Q and reBell. Her debut solo album, «Up Up Up», was born out of her pure curiosity and insistent investigation of the solo musical process. She got an «unpretentious» nineties synthesizer and its «hopeless, tasteless sounds» became her main sonic reference, inspiration and companion for«Up Up Up». She just waited «for the right context in which a sound could blossom and might even be perceived as beautiful».

These «little creatures» kind of sounds corresponded to the themes of Q’s songs. «Songs that in various ways and at various times put our hopes and doubts, our stupidity and shortcomings, and our brilliance and bravery at display. It is about how we all have a purpose, and how we all do – or could – fit in and blossom, both into the bigger picture and into smaller communities… given the right circumstances, patience and not the least; when surrounded by fellow humans that can recognize virtue in characters that differ from themselves».

The songs of «Up Up Up» are built on contrast and sometimes even tension. The vintage, simplistic soundscapes of the manipulated, processed synthesizer suggest chilly, ritualistic-hypnotic pulses pulses of futuristic pop-songs. But Q’s fragile and vulnerable delivery and her warm vocals radiate a mature and wise emotional perspective, Q manges to offer an untimely sonic experience, partly nostalgic towards the dark, claustrophobic atmosphere of David Bowie and Brian Eno acclaimed, seventies Berlin trilogy, especially on songs like «Toes», «Matter» and «Distortion», but most of the time she sounds like no other, creating her own personal universe. Some of her the concise, catchy songs as «Repairing», «Stranger» and «Shoes» have the potential of becoming an alternative hit songs in a better, just world.

The themes of contrast and tension correspond also with the songs’ lyrics, focused on hope and despair, often entangled together. She asserts at first that: «hope, it won’t consume us», but eventually, she finds herself satisfied with a «little hope», even if we glue ourselves to it with «a rubber and safety pin». But it is her naked sincerity and compassionate, singular vision that would win you over and will make the experience of listening to «Up Up Up» a unique and highly rewarding one.

Eyal Hareuveni

Qarin Wikström (v, synth, elec)

Q – LOSING from Qarin Wikström on Vimeo.