David Åhlén - 'If I have you' (single)
Swedish songwriter David Åhlén was once described as ‘the Arvo Pärt of Indie Pop’, which is a lovely description, and should be perfect listening for me personally, because I love Arvo Pärt as much as I do Indie Pop. His new single ‘If I Have You’ was released this morning through Jivvär records, and it’s a gorgeous hymn that is worth listening to just for the beautiful choir contribution alone.
We’ve covered Ahlen’s work before, notably when he released his 2016 album ‘Hidden Light’, but he has released 2 more albums, ‘We Sprout in the Soil’ back in 2009 and ‘Selah’ in 2013. He is also part of the electronic duo 1921, which is of course not to be confused with Christian Gabel’s 1900 project.
All of his music is quietly spiritual, and as always the vocals are just so distinct that they take a little adjusting to, but ‘If I have you’ has a power to it that demands everything be still, and is particularly appropriate perhaps for these strange times when we all have a little more time to think about the true value of the things around us. The boys choir (members of the Gotlands gosskör) steal the show for me with the beautiful choral backing arrangements, directed by Åhlén along with Andreas Sandlund at Stenkumla prästgård – and credit for those arrangements must go to Krister Hansén.
The lyrics meanwhile are simple but powerful, and speak for themselves, ‘I seek you here on your holy mountain, and if I have you then I ask for nothing in heaven and earth’.
Please take a listen.
A particular mention should also be given to Manne von Ahn Öberg, who brought the whole thing together by mixing, mastering and producing the track.