An unstable polar vortex has my home region in its icy grasp. I’ve poured myself a nice cup of peppermint tea, and looking out over the familiar snowy landscape, I can’t help but feel like this premiere couldn’t have come at a better time. Joel Gabrielsson (formerly known under his Flyinglow moniker) will be releasing his debut EP Citadel on March 12, and we at Everything Is Noise are very humbled to have the opportunity of premiering its first single, “Morning Light”, for you today – you too will find that this pensive yet cozy song fits the current weather just as much as a rainy afternoon or a beautiful summer sunset.
From this single alone, I can tell that Gabrielsson sits comfortably within a lineage of artists whose work I admire, effortlessly evoking shades of Henry Green‘s folk-infused electronica and Hisato Higuchi‘s minimal guitar explorations while also bringing to mind names like Jónsi and Sufjan Stevens with its intimate, comforting sound. “Morning Light” exerts a gentle pull on the listener, beckoning them to stay a while and fully soak in the warm melancholy of its little musical microcosm. It’s a ray of early autumn light falling through your window, a reminiscence of past candour as much as a loving embrace of the present.
‘What should become / Will become‘
The song has this lilting yet plaintive melody to it that gives it a wonderfully bittersweet sound that’s hard to shake once you’ve immersed yourself in it. Gabrielsson’s delicate acoustic guitar and breathy vocals are laid over a bed of synths and cello, while Emily Åhlén lends her vocal talents to the chorus, adding another shimmering detail to this dainty mosaic of songcraft. The cello, played by Svante Henryson, becomes more pronounced in the last minute of “Morning Light”, which gives the song’s conclusion a certain gravitas.
Here’s what Gabrielsson himself has to say about his newly released single:
‘“Morning Light” is an ode to brevity. It was written during a trying time, and engages with longing and love, faith and doubt, clarity and ambivalence, finding rest in the tension of it all. It’s heavy-hearted and melancholic, but doesn’t lose sight of hope.‘
A studied contemporary dancer, Gabrielsson dances through a hazy collage of washed-out scenes in the accompanying music video, directed by Gustaf Järver. Its somber yet deliberate use of color and out-of-focus shots makes for an effective visual framework that carries over much of the same atmosphere built by “Morning Light”.
As I mentioned earlier, Gabrielsson’s Citadel EP will be out on March 12 via Jivvär Records; it’s comprised of four songs, all composed by Gabrielsson and produced by David Åhlén. Mixing and mastering was handled by Manne von Ahn-Öberg. If you liked “Morning Light” as a single, I can assure you that you won’t want to miss out on the full EP, so keep an eye on Gabrielsson’s social media (Facebook | Instagram) and check out Citadel once it drops.