On “Upp med händerna alla som vill dö” (“Hands up everyone who wants to die”), the newest, mesmerizing EP from Maximilian & Kaosfågel, a depressive rock duo from Stockholm, you will encounter sustained bits of darkness and experience immersion in atmospheric, sometimes unnerving environments that evoke the kind of distressing emotions hinted at by its unique aesthetic. Recorded in a small south Stockholm basement rehearsal room in the hellish heat of the Swedish late summer 2018, the 6-track epic expands into various sonic spaces, experimenting in the in-betweens of folk, post rock, poetry, and dark, cinematic ambience. Lyrically, it elaborates on themes like disturbed male madonna obsession, violence, death and the longing for an impossible peace. Today, we’re thrilled to give you its first, immersive listen, acknowledge it as one of the best and most inventive albums in this field, and unveil the full track by track commentary, issued by Maximilian & Kaosfågel themselves.
In the year 2013 Maximilian Ottosson took refuge in a basement during six months, solely to devote himself to honing a musical expression that he had been harbouring, but not had the chance to express. The music was to spring unfiltered from the most profound darkness och tangent insanity, with raw crimson lyrics, torn from the most obscure subconsciousness. But he soon found himself, as often happens to the striving artist, money-less whereupon Maximilian was forced to crawl out of his exile and search for employment.
Since several years Pontus had given up engaging in bands. Many attempts in bands where the ambition was “having a band” rather than actual musical expression had left him in isolation with his piano, immersed in sound waves with no intention of performing in public. Unknowingly, however, he sheltered a latent longing that would evolve into fascination exposed to Maximilians musical material.
In the summer of 2015 Maximilian and Pontus met at the bakery and in the platonic love that arose had a strong energy that formed a bond between them. Intensely they discussed music, darkness and sincere expression. Black sparks sprung and blood was shed and in this moment Kaosfågel was born.
The “Upp med händerna alla som vill dö” EP will be released on all elementary platform on the third of December 2018.
For too long the darkness in swedish music has been philistine and overly introspective. We wanted to stay far away from clinging to personal lyrical themes of the kind “I love you but I don’t know why” and “I’m a misfit in the western culture”
Music, to us, is a powerful tool for excavating the obscure subconscious. There we find patterns in the dark, underlying sexual motives and a true desire for violence. In the music we strike a chord that unleashes our own shadow allowing it to make its own music, write its own lyrics, freely, unfiltered and completely honest.
By the tunes of Kaosfågel we draw crimson-black patterns of violence and tragedy. These paintings of noise and broken melodies embed twisted demonic sexual narratives and together they compose the Kaosfågel vision of music that, without compromise, extracts the darkness within us.
The six tracks were recorded in a small south Stockholm basement rehearsal room in the hellish heat of the Swedish late summer 2018. With our music we elaborate on themes like disturbed male madonna obsession, violence, death and the longing for an impossible peace.
Our plan for next year is to release three more EPs. We are planning to do some giggs during the spring and summer but we don’t have any dates confirmed yet. We also hope to be able do some giggs abroad and then mainly in Denmark and Germany but we do not have any confirmed dates there either.
“Upp med händerna alla som vill dö” track by track commentary:
Håll graven ren
This is a song based on “See That My Grave is Kept Clean” by Blind Lemon Jefferson. The lyrics were translated to swedish but the music is an interpretation of the visual themes therein. In the making of this track we were aiming for an adult-emo blues sound where the darkness of reality is fully recognized but faced with a proud posture and a wide manspread.
During a Kaosfågel-gig at a steaming hot venue in Linköping a woman repeatedly shouted “sex and blood, sex and blood”. Her name was Amanda and after that night she deserved a dedication. A song was written about the longing of a man to unite with a woman (named Amanda) in a violent erotic ritual culminating in the inevitable death of them both.
A romantic piano ballad on the theme demoic love. A man declares his love to the woman lecturing him using choke-holds and physical punishment. The song is crowned by an outstanding guitar solo and brilliant piano play. This song is the bands darling and represents the aim of Kaosfågels musical creation.
Repet om Halsen
The first song written by the duo. Previous Kaosfågel line-ups consisted of four members in a classic rock set-up. After repeated defections only Maximilian and Pontus remained. With the new electronic approach, crafted to fill the void of the lost members, the sound of the song came to define the soundscape of the entire EP. It was the first song recorded and the only song not recorded in the bands private studio. An epic portrait of a man’s final moments before his execution, a classic adult-emo theme that should be taken on by every self-respected adult-emo band. This is our rendering and it’s a bold one.
The only instrumental track of our EP is an adult-emo rocking-tempo blues. Combining screeching guitar and dischord synthesizer we want to fuse the Delta blues with the sound of Berlin postpunk. The song contains an invitation to dance to the pains of the final breath.
Another song about a woman. A desolate lead guitar cuts the synthesizer into dissonance to lyrics portraying a scene from a barren misty autumn landscape. A man and a woman wakes up after a night of decadence. In their hangover-anguish the man realizes that this is their last