Photo by Gustav Adbåge (www.gustavadbage.com)
Are you ready to swoon? Calle Thoor’s band, Bolywool has charmed TDOA audiences before, so it would only be logical that his solo work would amaze us. Our love of Swedish bands has been well documented in the past. There truly is something in the air, the water, the collective, that seems to create beauty of nothingness. Calle’s latest project, The Electric Sea Gospel is not your typical solo project. How often do these ventures turn into self-indulgent disappointments, using songs that had clearly been rejected by “the band”? Not this time, my friend. The two singles from TESG have an ethereal beauty that make it some of the best music we’ve heard this year. Driving in a car, sitting on the porch while watching the sun set or laying down in the dark with headphones on, this music has the ability to make you float above the world, in a place that I would prefer to live for eternity.
I talked with Calle about his beautiful vision and the future of Bolywool.
TDOA: What is The Electric Sea Gospel? What’s your intention in starting this project?
CT: The Electric Sea Gospel is my first proper solo-project. I’ve been working under the moniker The Sea when I’ve produced, mixed or done artwork for other people, but seemingly there are a few other bands that use that name, so it had to be something else. The Electric Sea Gospel sounded like a good name for what I was striving for: psychedelic, nautical soundscapes. My intention was to have something else to focus on than just Bolywool and other projects, plus I had a bunch of songs that weren’t really fit for Bolywool. Although, the first single, The Only Morning, is a revised version of an old Bolywool song. I just wanted to record and give some justice to these songs.
TDOA: How does the songwriting process differ from your work with Bolywool? Obviously, you’ve got a bit more to deal with!
CT: As TESG is a bit more beat-driven than Bolywool, it usually starts out with a beat or a sample. The process isn’t that different really – it’s the same struggle trying to reinvent yourself or not reinvent yourself; trying out chord progressions and to write a timeless melody. Thematically, there is the obvious (albeit slight) difference: Bolywool focus on islands; TESG focus on the surrounding body of water.
TDOA: How did you find the find the backing musicians that are playing with you?
CT: They’re just good old friends that I more or less forced to play on the songs. They don’t seem to mind though. Initially, I was going to play all parts on the record. But I got bored with the sense of self-indulgence, and I reckon it’s much more fun if you’ve got someone to share the songs with.
TDOA: Visuals seem like an important part of your personality. Will there be visual elements to your solo work?
CT: Artwork and visuals are really important to me as they can reflect and enhance the imagery projected by the music and lyrics. So, if I ever deciced or get the opportunity to take this thing on the road – there will be lots of visuals and projections.
TDOA: How do you think this project might change your approach to your work with Bolywool?
CT: I don’t think it will affect my approach to Bolywool that much really. I’m even more psyched about recording with Bolywool and doing new stuff than before. Oskar and I have written music together since the late nineties, so we have our thing worked out pretty neatly.
TDOA: When will we see new Bolywool music ?
CT: We’ve got quite a few things brewing. We recorded this beautiful cover of The Creations’ If I Stay Too Long during the Through a Century-sessions and Oskar and I finished it off this summer, two years later. Unfortunately, we wanted to do the right thing and get the blessing from the publisher, and some odd months later we’re still waiting for a reply. Should’ve gone rouge on this one. What more? We’ve written the best songs thus far and are probably going to record on Iceland next year for an EP and album #3 (due ~2014). We might release an X-mas single in late December.