Swedish progressive rock purveyors, Beardfish have been one of the most prolific bands on the scene for almost two decades. Founded by multi-instrumentalist Rikard Sjöblom, the band has been on a winning streak since 2001.
However, Sjöblom has been a part of different music projects over the years, most notably he released albums under the name Gungfly, and he has also been a part of UK progressive rock band Big Big Train recently.
Over the past few months, Rikard worked on a solo album which will be released in February 2016. Titled "The Unbendable Sleep," the record brings eight songs which certainly possess quality to appeal to music fans of different genres. Sjöblom has once again created a diverse album, but in a more intimate format than we are accustomed to.
Speaking about his decision to release an album under his name at this point of his career, Rikard says: "There are a number of reasons why I did this, but the main one is that Gungfly which started out as a solo project later became more of a band with members and all that and it's a really good band and I love it and all that but I guess to really be solo you almost have to use your birth name?
He continues: "I've only released one album under my name before and that was recorded in 2003, released in 2006. It's called 'Cyklonmannen' and it's an instrumental, musical interpretation of a novel with the same name written by Sweden's only beatnik writer Sture Dahlström. It's pretty obscure stuff! But, the guy who made quite a lot of the book covers for Sture is called Bernt Daniels and he's the same guy who has painted the cover painting of 'The Unbendable Sleep.' So that was another reason, because when I asked permission from Bernt to use the book cover back in 2006 he sent me this postcard with this painting on it and it was Beste Schweizermilch, the very same painting you see on the cover of 'The Unbendable Sleep,' and I just fell in love with it and decided that I wanted to use it someday. So, it's quite fitting that Bernt Daniels has made the cover paintings of the only two albums I've made as Rikard Sjöblom, don't you think?
"It also feels like it's the right time to do it because right now I'm involved in many different interesting projects and I've longed to make something that is completely me now for a while, so it's the right time!"
Thematically, "The Unbendable Sleep" goes around the usual subjects: love, life, death, and it deals a lot with self-esteem and believing in yourself. "Sounds cheesy, I know, but it's pretty important stuff," Rikard continues. "I found myself singing about mirrors quite a lot and that's also referring to just that, looking into the mirror and not recognizing the person staring back at you."
Sjöblom says that he has plans for performing these songs live. "I really want to take this music out on the road," he admits, "but I don't want to lock myself in with just doing band-stuff. At the moment I'm very much into to doing solo shows as well with just an acoustic (and maybe an electric too) guitar and my voice, but you can't do that with all of the material, so there will be a full on band as well. Hopefully I can book something in the near future!"
"The Unbendable Sleep" will be available starting February as digital download and CD via Gungfly Productions. The vinyl version of the album will be available from Plane Groovy.
The Unbendable Sleep track listing:
01. Love And War Part One: I Am Who You Are
02. Realm of You and Me
03. Rhyme and Reason
04. Will We Cry?
05. Under Northern Skies (Villemo's Song)
06. Building a Tent for Astor
08. Love And War Part Two: Lucky Star
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