Promise And The Monster

Our brains are marvellous repositories of life experiences, including music and every time we listen to a piece of music bits and pieces of it get stored in our long term memory. When I hear some new music, my brain wants to associate this new music with something concrete, a piece of music that I have listened to previously and stored in my medial prefrontal cortex. The more I listen to an album, the stronger the neural connection and the easier it is to retrieve that memory.

I have spent the last week listening to “Chewing Gum”, the soon to be released EP from Promise And The Monster, aka Billie Lindahl. My brain has been trying to make associations between this new music and bits and pieces of older music strewn throughout my prefrontal cortex. I feel that there are bits of Enya swooping and swirling about, listen for it on the song “Vykort från förr” and the title track “Chewing Gum”. Her use of bass lines that build the music up to create tension shows a connection to Orinoco Flow in my brain cells.

There are also healthy doses of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, most evident in the use of cello on the track “One Summer”. Listen for it on Nick Cave’s album and the title track ” And No More Shall We Part”.

AlbumArtExchange.com

Billie Lindahl learned the cello at school playing Swedish folk music. My remarkable brain neurons through some feat of molecular engineering that I do not understand made a connection between Swedish folk music and Australian alt-rock, go figure.

I keep thinking of Maryanne Faithful as I listened to this new music from Promise And The Monster. I don’t know where that comes from, but I can’t seem to shake it. Let me know if you can hear it, and where if you do.

I heard echoes of Enya, Nick Cave, and Maryanne Faithful, on the other hand, Billie Lindahl tells us that she took her inspiration from Nick Drake, Kaki King and Elliot Smith. I only know for sure that Billie Lindahl sounds a lot like Promise And The Monster and that is a good thing. I also know that after umpteen listens, Chewing Gum is permanently stuck in my brain.

After she debuted her EP Antaktis in 2007 at the age of 18, Billie Lindahl kept very busy over the ensuing years releasing her solo music, as well as under her alias Promise And The Monster. She also collaborated with like-minded musicians such as Alcest and This Gift is a Curse.

“Feed The Fire”; her third full-length album came out in 2016, produced by Love Martinsen. In 2020, Martinsen joined Billie to co-write her upcoming material. The new songs explore a less introspective side of her psyche, with an emphasis on the tongue-in-cheek nature lurking beneath a veneer of earnestness.

On the signing news, Billie tells us, “I’m so pleased, together we can take this in a great new direction. I used to like writing quite cryptic stuff, but I tried hard this time to get out of that safe haven and be more direct. The new songs often express the feeling of being that last person at the party, dancing slowly in the background, waiting for something to happen. Like a sad moonlight disco.”

While the label Icons Creating Evil Art added, “We are thrilled to welcome one of the most iconic voices in dark pop to our evil art family. Promise and the Monster has been working right beneath the surface and in the shadows creating the most beautiful world of her own. It’s time we invite you all to share it with us!”

I invite anyone reading this to listen to the EP “Chewing Gum” when it is released. The single “Closed My Eyes”, is available wherever fine listening is offered.

https://music.apple.com/ca/album/closed-my-eyes-single/1533180592

https://soundcloud.com/iconscreatingevilart/closed-my-eyes

https://open.spotify.com/track/2PCg6tjiFbdI47WqUhXvUm?si=Klp-lJ4uQDOGSbQ_u7gu3g

For Press enquiries, please contact james@mysticsons.com

Norman @normanweatheredmusic @weatheredmusic

Happy listening and play safe.

Cold Country Funk

While hiding from the extreme cold we have been experiencing, down to -38c, I locked down and listened to some tunes, first up on the turntable was North Country Funk by Joey Gregorash, I bought this record without hearing a single note from it on the advice of my friend Bruce from Record Collectors Paradise and I have no regrets. I have returned to this album for repeated listens and the one song that stands out for both Bruce and me, is Down By The River, which I think is equal to, if not better than Neil Young’s version. Either way, this is still a good winter album, the cover photo says it all.

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Next up were Explosions In The Sky who told me with their album that, The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place. To step outside at -33C makes the earth feel like a cold dead place, however, we Edmontonians are a hearty lot and life goes on, a bit slower perhaps for those of us with arthritis, but it does go on.

Another song by Explosions In The Sky, Snow And Lights, from their album How Strange, Innocense. This is a favourite band of ours, Joel and I, so I didn’t mind queuing up another listen by them.

A blast from the past came next, The Mamas & The Papas are California Dreamin’ on such a winters day. I am personally Jamaica dreamin’ on such a cold and snowy winters day.

A little levity came next with Frank Zappa, Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow, a 45 this time so it was a short cold shot.

A Hazy Shade of Winter by Simon & Garfunkel, another blast from the past that gives us another shade of winter in case we ever tire of the frozen white one we are stuck in.

Fifteen Feet Of Pure White Snow by Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, this is from the album No More Shall We Pass, which I think is a masterpiece of music. This line is particularly apt for our recent weather:
“I’m beginning to freeze
I’ve got icicles hanging from my knees”
Listen to the entire album if you have a chance, this warrants a comfortable spot on the recliner and listening on the big speakers.

White Winter Hymnal by Fleet Foxes from their self titled album

Snow Blind by Black Sabbath from Vol4

I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm by Billie Holiday from Holiday Blues

Snowblind from Drowning With Land In Sight by The 77s

Snowblind Friend by Steppenwolf from Sixteen Great Performances

Snowin’ In Brooklyn by Ferron from Shadows On A Dime
I think the remainder of these songs speak for themselves, except for the last one, by Ferron, it’s actually snowin’ in Edmonton, but I’ll give her credit all the same because it probably is snowin’ in Brooklyn as well. I saw Ferron live at the Edmonton Folk Fest and fell in love with her music and the Shadows On A Dime album, which I go back to every now and then, just because it feels so good to reminisce about that performance. It may be cold outside but the turntable is still spinning and up next is Hot Buttered Soul by the great Isaac Hayes, it gets the blood flowing and the feet moving, good stuff.
I hope you manage to stay warm and listen to some good music, it warms the soul.