This Heel 🇸🇪 - Invisible Space (EP)
I wrote about the new album by Swedish indie band Blod yesterday, which I liked, but it did take some getting into, so today I’ll feature This Heel, who I always find a really easy, enjoyable listen - their EP ‘Invisible Space‘ was released towards the end of last year.
I’ve written about them before, they’re the project based around musician Martin Sjöstrand, who was also part of the excellent Dog, Paper, Submarine project that ended a couple of years ago. This Heel to an extent previously had ‘the scraps’ of unused DPS material, but is now the main vehicle for the musician, who churns out songs almost as frequently as Boris Johnson lies about parties he's attended.
I hinted that this EP would have quicker appeal, but actually opening title track ‘Invisible Space’ does take a while to get going, but once it does it’s just a delight, with a mesmerising tune that makes me think I’m lost in a fairground being chased by Pac-Man ghosts. Lyrically of course it suggests nothing of the sort, but his words always need some study to fully understand them: “When you fall down all you’ll see, molecules, the chemistry. Reformation, defragmentation, the light of reincarnation”, which sounds dark yet is all sung on repeat with almost joyous abandonment.
Anyway with that we’re off, as Sjöstrand launches into a more typical style This Heel track, as ‘Head / Tail’ is 2 minutes of Pixies style fuzzy rock, of course with the inevitable slightly warped middle section. ‘Cave Boy (Blow the Flower a Kiss’) is another great example, a frenetic cacophony of guitars that build to a catchy chorus albeit this time there is far less of a leftfield diversion along the way.
The stripped back acoustic backdrop of ‘Gutted Angel’ and opening of ’The Hum’ allow time to contemplate the joyous nonsense and sense that is This Heel lyrics, in particular the former with the words “The gutted angel’s soul, stolen by the world. Babies in the dollar store. An ant on a dinosaur”. And then leading to the chorus, “Don’t be around that ghost. Wheels will crush you”. I remain defeated in my attempts to fully understand this one I admit.
To be honest it’s not always easy to describe This Heel‘s music either, so for the last track try an experiment involving hopping on the spot for 3 minutes. At first you’ll feel secure and steady in the centre of that spot, but over the next 180 seconds you’ll slowly find yourself hopping further away from the middle point until you’re doing a frantic one legged dance all over the room, occasionally crashing into tables, chairs and perhaps a cat, before somehow ending up in a heap on the floor in the same place as you started. And that’s the track ‘Warped Battery Muffin’.
I guess the point I’m trying to make is that this is just really entertaining music. It’s lo-fi, deliberately chaotic, even hit or miss at times, but each song always has a feeling that it’s written, performed and to be listened to with a smile on everyone’s faces. In the midst of it all there’s moments of utter brilliance where momentarily music and life makes total sense, before both disappear in the polar opposite direction again. I’m sure it won’t be long before we’re offered some more This Heel material and it’s always welcomed.