So I'd just got back into a routine of writing (and with an actual plan for the next month) when typically 'The Covid' struck. The official backlog is now therefore 'massive plus a week‘.
Ghosts on TV have definitely been my most listened to band whilst I've been absent, but the debut release from Michaela Åberg has really appealed, and pretty much on 1st listen too.
She's a musician based out of Gothenburg, and describes her music as 'desert psych / gothic folk', which is a pretty good description. There wasn't much fanfare about 'This is Fine', just a couple of singles, and judging from her Instagram comments she still seems pretty surprised that she's a an actual real artist with a fully released album, performing on reputable stages. Yet this is such a confident and natural sounding release that you'd have thought she's been doing this for years, and quite possibly on a big label too.
Opening with 'Intro (Alien Girl)’ Åberg takes us straight into her world, which I suspect involved listening to a fair share of pretty sad melancholic indie goth bands in her youth, and immediately I'm struck by her atmospheric vocals and the way the track flows seamlessly into ‘Way Out’, which gives the album a feeling of continuity as well as growing intensity. ‘Standing Out’ builds even further and by that stage you should find yourself completely immersed in the style and the substance. But ‘Never Enough’ heads in a different direction, upbeat melodic and almost catchy, showing she can write a good indie pop track too.
To be clear the songwriting is very much 'in a style', and don't blink or you'll miss those catchy sing-a-long sections, but I really love what Michaela Åberg and her musical friends have created here, weighty interesting songs which are definitely worthy of at least a mid size festival stage. And of course there's a feeling that if she wasn't on the stage, she'd be right at the front of the audience anyway, a true indie spirit who’s determined to do things her own way. ‘This is Fine’ is an excellent debut and I have no doubt that we’ll be hearing a lot more from her.
Find her on Instagram.