I Forgive Nothing

TR 325CD TR 325CD

Kristoffer Bolander, the Swede with the heavenly voice, has been touring from Gothenburg to Italy for since the mid-2000s as the head of the alternative folk band Holmes. Bolander now presents his first solo album, I Forgive Nothing. The opening bars of the album immediately immerse the listener in Bolander's sound -- his gentle and wisely thoughtful songwriting carried by a voice that evokes comparison to Neil Young. The whole thing is supported by a pulsating bed of sound that sporadically swells and retreats to just an organ and Bolander's delicate voice over the course of the album. The deliberate setting of these counterpoints creates the album's most stirring moments. The reduction of the sound is the key factor on I Forgive Nothing and is what differentiates this album from Bolander's previous work. It was a deliberate decision not to produce all songs with a full band lineup, to create new space within the compositions and bring the fundamental elements of the songs -- the poetic lyrics and vocals -- to the fore. With that in mind, Bolander worked for two years to write the songs on I Forgive Nothing. He also decided to work in a different studio for this production; in cooperation with producer Anders Lagerfors, he recorded the entire album mostly live in just six days at Nacksving Studios in Gothenburg. This approach preserved the intimacy of the pieces and can especially be appreciated during the album's quieter moments, when Bolander's voice is accompanied only by an acoustic guitar ("The Rings Above") or an organ ("Something Wrong"). For the songs that were arranged with full-band accompaniment, such as the epic "I Forgive Nothing," Bolander called upon old companions and friends, all of whom hail from his hometown of Vänersborg. As a result, not only does the greatest lap steel guitarist on that side of the Atlantic appear on the album -- Johan Björklund of Holmes -- but so does his brother, drummer Michael Björklund, best known from the Swedish punk band Affordable Hybrid. "I forgive nothing" is a paraphrase from Samuel Beckett's 1951 novel Malone Dies, a book that serves as a major inspiration for Kristoffer Bolander. Beckett's lyrical tone runs through the 12 tracks on the album like a red thread. In combination with the musical setting it brings an extraordinary depth and overwhelming atmosphere that is truly unparalleled.