- David Bentley
By Land – 'Anyone could be us' (single from forthcoming album)
We featured Sweden’s Björn Lindberg’s solo project By Land last month, and he is scheduled to drop his debut album 'I shall name you Bjorn' this month (17th April). He’s something of a self-doubter by all accounts, seeking solace and escape in music.
He has previously collaborated with the likes of ALMA, and in 2019 was nominated for a Swedish Grammy as a co-producer of Åkervinda’s album ‘Förgänglighet’.
According to By Land being raised in Sweden means you’re in a country where you’re told you’re really not that special. Anyone could be me, anyone could be us. ”You said you’ll speak - I try to get - A word which still is mine - Anyone could be us” goes the lyric.
This is an example of the Law of Jante. To those not familiar with it, The Law of Jante (Jantelagen) is a code of conduct known in Nordic countries that characterises not conforming, doing things out of the ordinary, or being overtly personally ambitious as unworthy and inappropriate. The attitudes were first formulated in the form of the ten rules of Jante Law by the Danish-Norwegian author Aksel Sandemose in his satirical novel A Fugitive Crosses His Tracks (1933), but the actual attitudes themselves are older. The 10 Rules of Jante are copied below.
So much for the history lesson. What about the song? Well it’s short, just 2:25, pacey, and it sets off with a bass riff like The Beatles’ ‘Get Back’. That bass beat, like a tachycardic heartbeat, is the most compelling part of the song but after you listen to it a couple of times the melody starts to take over. Perhaps a short bridge might have helped break things up a bit but then again it has developed a momentum of its own by the time it reaches the part where a bridge would be and in the end the disappointment is that it reached the end at all as it could have gone on for a few more bars.
This is the first time I’ve heard By Land and this song, after a few hearings, makes me intrigued for the album.
(‘Novoton’ here incidentally is his record label).
Visit him on his website.