So the new Moon Safari album has been out for a while! Their music really has a special place in my heart! They hail from the same town (Skellefteå) where my significant other and mother of my three children comes from. The music is easily recognizable but yet again the boys are presenting some new ingredients to the tasty stew that is prog Moon Safari-style! A little quirkier in places and also some heavier guitar riffs (Barfly). Since I’m a sometimes rather embarrassing fanboy I’ve got problems finding anything not to like here. Perhaps that Lover’s End was a bit more consistent but then again, Himlabacken Vol. 1 is also an album filled to the brim with beautiful melodies and of course their trademark, breathtaking vocal harmonies written by maestro Simon Åkesson. The theme of the album is about growing up. Not that it is a conceptual approach on the subject at all but more of a red thread that the lyrics refer to in different ways. It’s nicely done. A fine example is from the song Diamonds.
My uncle on my father’s side’s a farmer, he is old now but smiles just the same, spent his life working way over yonder, in the fields among the rocks and the clay / He says: ”Tell me what more is a diamond, son, than a stone in the blind man’s hand, if you’d see what I see then you too could be king with a kingdom in hand”
The title of the album refers to the small hilltop where the, then small boys and now young men in the band, went bobsleighing down in winter. A small hilltop stretching up into to the sky…a Heaven Hill.
I have seen this band perform four times now and they just get better. Last time was Friday night 13th September together with fellow Progarchist, Mr Ian Greatorex at House of Progression at the music pub The Peel (“a rather grotty place”, according to Mr G) in London. Once again I was absolutely blown away by their performance and how they nail all the intricate harmonies live is beyond me. The band was on fire and I have never seen them better. The band stated in an update on their FB-timeline that the audience at The Peel was the loudest on their European Tour so far….no surprise with a roaring viking in the crowd. What happened during the rest of that magic weekend you can see in the video footage by another Progarchist and dear friend, Russel Clarke, here.
5 thoughts on “Himlabacken Vol. 1!”
Tobbe, my Viking friend, thanks for posting this. Indeed they were superb at the ‘grotty’ Peel. I have just taken ownership of the album and its next on my extremely long playlist. Thanks for the background info about the album, I always find such info puts the music in context
Thanks Ian, my dear friend! Glad you liked my little text! 🙂 /Tobbe
Thank you, Tobbe, for this fine review. Moon Safari has such a unique sound; the vocals are simply stunning—like a crazy combo of Beach Boys, Queen, and a host of other elements in a most unique sound. To my ear, the band is something of a cousin to the lush harmonies of The Von Hertzen Brothers, although that group certainly, overall, has a harder sound.
Tobbe, I rue (no, curse….) the day that I turned down Mr G’s invitation to see Moon Safari at the Peel, prior to the BBT weekend.
Because Blomljud, Lover’s End and Himlabacken are all first-class pieces of work. The first time I heard A Kid Called Panic I had to replay it half a dozen times straight off – it really is that good. I can’t imagine how they reproduce those harmonies in a live setting but of course I have personal testimony from the two of you that they really do.
Next time they visit these shores I WILL be there 🙂
Hullo Nigel! So glad that you have become a Moon Safari convert! 😀 They will surely come back to Britain again so you will have the opportunity to see them live! It’s a wonder how they deliver those harmonies live!