/
  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Black 12" vinyl LP in matt finish sleeve with 3mm spine and padded inner sleeve. Includes a 16-page full colour booklet (14.8x14.8cm) with lyrics, credits, photos and a download code.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Songs For Lap Steel And Harmonium via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 4 days

      €16 EUR or more 

     

  • 16-page full colour booklet (14.8x14.8cm) with lyrics, credits and photos, along with a download of the album in CD quality. For those who don't want an LP but still like something physical (the same booklet is included with the LP).

    Includes unlimited streaming of Songs For Lap Steel And Harmonium via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 4 days

      €10 EUR or more 

     

about

The lyric for "Swede Hollow" was inspired by Swedish author Ola Larsmo's 2016 novel of the same name, which tells the tale of Swedish immigrants in the USA in the early 1900s, who escaped poverty in rural Sweden only to land in urban slums, being met with prejudice in their new country and living at the lowest level of society. Swedes were by many there considered to be "dumb", "smelly" and not "proper white Europeans". This is of course currently a highly relevant theme, as people newly arrived in a foreign country and culture are are facing the very same problems. But they are not blonde Swedes today. To remember that anyone of us could be this "strange immigrant" is important.

The valley Swede Hollow in St. Paul, Minnesota - now a park - was a slum neighbourhood first inhabited by Swedish settlers from the 1880s, followed by Italians, Poles and later by Mexicans, until the last inhabitants were forcibly evicted and all housing burnt down in 1956 as the neighbourhood was considered a health hazard by city officials. As the song's lyric concludes, "at the very bottom there is always room".

The music for "Swede Hollow" was the first Fredrik Kinbom wrote for the album Songs for Lap Steel and Harmonium, but it was the last track to be recorded, as it was not until he read Ola Larsmo's book that a fitting lyrical theme for the "nordic melancholy" of the music developed, connecting the past and the present. It was played on an old harmonium (incidentally built some 110 years ago by a company founded by a Swedish immigrant in Germany) augmented by multi-tracked string section-like flourishes bowed with a paint brush shaft on an acoustic baritone lap steel guitar.

lyrics

All my sweat and dreams and toil
Vanished with me somehow
Down in the Minnesota soil
I rest for 90 years now

I can see you all up there
You don't even know that I was

I made it across the sea
Unlike so many today
Can't you see that they are me?
And you would allow me to stay

My blue eyes, my flaxen hair
Words of scorn fly through the air
You say I smell, you say I'm dumb
And I turn inwards, I go numb

Close your eyes and see
Them today, then me
At the very bottom there is always room.

credits

from Songs For Lap Steel And Harmonium, released November 9, 2018

license

all rights reserved

tags

Fredrik Kinbom recommends:

If you like Fredrik Kinbom, you may also like: