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På skive


«Hidden Light»

Swedish singer-songwriter David Åhlén is the son of a Baptist pastor who was raised in the church. Today he lives in a barn sheltered by nature on a remote island in the Baltic sea, with his wife and five children, as part of the ‘Stenkumla parsonage’, a Monastic community and shelter to anyone in need, far from the blur of the big city. Åhlén strong belief and his simple, ascetic life inform his songs, obviously resonate his profound devotion yet do not conform to simple religious conventions.

Åhlén fourth solo album, «Hidden Light», was conceived after he read Tsvi Sadan book «The Concealed Light», that explores the Messiah different names. Each of these assignations offers insights into the attributes and expected roles of the person of Messiah, far beyond the watered-down concept of the Messiah that modern culture offers us. The new songs focus on issues of faith, longing , death and life uncover a Hidden Light, but they do not necessarily address a divine guiding light. These songs can be read as portraying Åhlén negotiating with himself, coming to terms with his belief or simply speaking to loved ones, finding solace and articulating his gratitude. .

Åhlén began to improvise on the themes of his songs with his good friend, keyboards player Andreaz Hedén, while they were still on the Baltic Gotland island. Both recorded the album eight songs in just two days, and later Åhlén added parts by like-minded friends in Stockholm and Oslo, like cellist Svante Henryson or vocalist Sofia Jernberg.

Åhlén songs draw the listener into his own world, a quiet, peaceful and fragile one where time moves in a slower pace. His gentle, fragile voice and the minimalist-chamber arrangements intensify this contemplative vein, subjecting the listener to his haunting spiritual art. Songs like «Hidden Light», with the beautiful flugelhorn of Jonas Nyström, or «Heal me my love», a duet with Nicolai Dunger, may borrow the dramatic structure of devotional hymns but now deliver Åhlén genuine emotions and thoughts. «Majesty», the touching duet with Jernberg soaring vocals, is the highlight of this beautiful gem, a songs that its theme keeps playing in your head long after you finished listening to this album.

Eyal Hareuveni

David Åhlén (v), Nicolai Dunger (v, harm), Andreaz Hedén (p, prep piano, org, harmonium), Svante Henryson (c), Sofia Jernberg (v), Jonas Nilsson (b), Jonas Nyström (frh, tp, v)

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