The Swede | and The Swede

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Rock: Psychedelic Rock: Modern Rock Moods: Type: Experimental
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and The Swede

by The Swede

Oddly comforting record of early 70's odd pop in the vein of Jim O'Rourke's easier listening, Nick Drake's somber mood, all the while politely hinting that "Something, Anything" era Todd Rundgren was right at least part of the time.
Genre: Rock: Psychedelic
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  Song Share Time Download
1. The First Song on This Record
6:12 $0.99
2. The Director
4:07 $0.99
3. They Hate This Where I'm From
4:28 $0.99
4. No Hurry
3:02 $0.99
5. No Loud Crash
3:58 $0.99
6. Edsel
3:59 $0.99
7. F U My Friends
6:52 $0.99
8. Birds Around Yr. Head
4:11 $0.99
9. The Last Song on This Record
5:48 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The Swede (AKA Matthew William Kohnle) first appeared with instrumental quartet Daybed releasing two Danbury, Connecticut classic Ep's on the original "Shotty Merchandise" label in 1998 and 1999 respectively . Matt has also been a member of Connecticut's long running free/noise/improv collective "The Hat City Intuitive" as well as also working with more traditional rock formats in local favorites JFK and Darling (who also expect to have an album out next year).

On this, the long awaited debut album by The Swede proper, we find that the program includes "songs", and is far from the average Post Punk stomper so common these days. As a one man operation, The Swede writes, performs and engineers this oddly comforting record of early seventies odd-pop in the vein of Jim O' Rourke's easier listening, Nick Drake’s somber mood and all the while, politely hinting that "Something, Anything" era Todd Rundgren was right at least part of the time. Tracks run the gamut from warm and fuzzy acoustic ditties, to full-on-mellotron-laden-fist-pumping-rock-outs, staying clear of kitsch, or retro fetishism.

Over two years in the making, the mood and feel of the record seems deeply personal and lived in, favoring clever song-writing and deft arranging over sheer bombast. The Swede promised us a record which he described as a "warm hug" or "comfy as an old couch". And we feel he has succeeded!

-Shoddy Merchandise, LLC



to write a review

Mish Mash Music Reviews

His style is sedate and subdued, found somewhere between the quiet depression of
And The Swede is the chosen moniker of solo artist Matthew William Kohnle, who wrote, recorded and performed the songs on the disc by himself. His style is sedate and subdued, found somewhere between the quiet depression of Joe Pernice and the understated other-worldliness of Pink Floyd.

The album finds its power in solitude, a feeling gently pushed along by half-whispered vocals and a sparse musical landscape. It's an emptiness which is close and personal, not distant, adding weight with each musical passage. Yes, it is bitter, but at the same time brilliant.

David Cowling- americanaUK

Spend time with this and develop Stockholm syndrome
Spend time with this and develop Stockholm syndrome

"From the fact that this is mostly a solo endeavour, that the songs are prickily
entitled ‘They Hate This Where I Come From’ or ‘FU My Friends’ you might
think that you are about to tuck into a banquet of misanthropy or a dinner of
disparagement, at the very least a side-order of cynicism. Think again, this is food
of a very different kind; it is food for the brain and the heart, intelligent and
beautiful with a hint of bitterness that is salved by the sauce of tenderness. A
particular favourite is ‘They Hate This Where I’m From’ starts as slow and
sketchily as the slowest slo-core with just some slo-mo chimes of math rock guitar
and whispered downbeat vocals, the guitars build a little complexity whilst
essentially remaining plucked string strums where each string resonates on its own,
a bass clarinet and saxophone slowly dance across the song weaving more complex
patterns honking, the effect is like migrating geese with a malfunctioning sat-nav.
Contrast that with the almost straightforward pop of ‘No Hurry’ or the even
more melodious ‘No Loud Crash’ and you begin to build a watertight case for
comparing this with Todd Rundgren. If you are struck by beauty then ‘Birds
Around Yr Head’ will do it for you, simple acoustic strum, gentle vocals are all
that is needed and by the time you get to the end of the song any preconceptions of
misanthropy have completely disappeared. "


The Swede — And the Swede

"Alternative pop-rock with indie rock intentions and gentle harmonies, the Swede
is Matthew William Kohnle (yes he’s the Swede). Utilizing his past as an
improv noise collage artist in Connecticut, Kohnle paints a portrait of melodies
and fitting arrangements throughout this neatly textured album. While not quite
chamber pop, it almost feels as elegant with lavish use of bridges and choruses
amid semi-chaotic avant garde jazz structures. It’s witty, divergent, and never
altruistic which I blame for the downfall of many experimental indie pop and
alternative pop acts failure."