PSYCHEDELIC SWEDEN


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Peter in plastic

For the most of it, the songs of PSYCHEDELIC SWEDEN are in English but a few written in Swedish have also been included partly to show you exactly what went down in those days but also for their high quality. Here follows a brief survey by Peter to tell you what the lyrics were about and other details surrounding the tracks, running them through in order:



TAKE A TRIP ON My FERRY is the only exception on the album, having been recorded as late as 1998 or 99. However, the song itself  was actually written back in the heyday of the psychedelic sixties with only the bridge added later plus some minor changes in the verses. The word "trip" does not refer to lysergic acid in any way since I had not even heard of that substance back in `68. It´s just a ride on a ferry across the bight between Denmark and Sweden.

JOAN: My main inspiration for these lyrics was Lewis Carrol´s "Alice in wonderland". Hampus Ekholm played the accompanying electric guitar while some of my instruments involved cornet, recorders, (a pitched down) melodeon, guitars, bass as well as doing vocals both upfront and multi layered choirs in the background.
On Gärdet, 1971

SYRRAN is Swedish for "siss" or sister. This is version number 2, the first one recorded the year before. I used an old Kawai electric guitar which sounded so poorly that I had to improve it somehow, trying to brighten it up as I overdubbed it layer after layer.  The verses are about a girl picking flowers and mushrooms in the deep forest and the magical feeling of being there in the midst of it all with nature and wildlife all around.

MARY MERCURY
was never finished in this version and yet another attempt at creating magic with the old Kawai guitar overdubbing it in thick layers, some of which were made more crisp and resonant by using high speed.  The song is something I wrote way back in 1968 inspired by some fantasies around an android girl friend, a sort of science fiction theme I was working on back then.

SO ALONE
is my moodier side from those early days. It´s strange to hear me sing about time being "your life time burden" when I was merely in my earliest twenties. But that´s what I was feeling at the time and so that´s how it came out. This recording was made, like several others, using two Revox machines to get some sort of stereo image about it. The main instrument was acoustic guitar and occasionally melodeon pitched down to mimic the bass notes of a church organ.
Peter with tape recorder
HOORUSHEMA THE HURRICANE was cut using a multi tracked melodeon with recorders and a plastic ocarina while I colored the sound by feeding echo through an almost worn out, wildly oscillating Aiwa tape recorder bought in Singapore way back in time.

TÄBY SÅNG is a long and dark piece with even darker Swedish lyrics about a love affair  that has just ended.  I wrote the lyrics to this  based on some scrap notes I made in the wake of a bad trip and the breaking up of a relationship with a girl I once knew. Some days later I added the tune and recorded it on my Revox. In the nineties I partly rewrote this song together with a friend of mine calling it  "San- ningens natt", which in English would be "Night of truth".

MERGING MAZE  was a Beatles inspired thing I wrote and recorded in the  autumn of `72 when fogs inveigled everything and I was madly in love with the girl in the song before.

WATERS FLOW was recorded in stereo using two inter linked Revox machines, which was a real challenge for me back in 1980 when this was made. Besides guitars, I used mel- lotron, organ, drums, bass and a primitive drum loop fitted in with the organ.
Me, 1971
MAMMA, PAPPA OCH BARNVISAN means "Song for mammies, daddies and kids". These fun loving  Swedish lyrics were partly inspired by the theme behind  "Little boxes", that  famous protest song which was written by Malvina Reynolds and performed by Pete Seeger in the early sixties. Among the flutes in the woodwind section I used a South American one called "quena". Several of the instruments were recorded placing the mike at the far end of a large room in the house where the family was living at the time, this to create a special ambience for this track. The rustling sound at the beginning is me beating on the strings of a detuned guitar and the percussion heard at times is a copper kettle facing upside down.    


  Hampus Ekholm
  Hampus Ekholm, 1971
Peter at the festival, 1971
LONELY I´LL WAIT is the oldest recording of the album dating from 1970. The text sums up my first experience with a broken heart, something everyone has to face sooner or later. The sound of this take is perhaps a bit distorted but then again, that is how I recorded it, not worrying too much about the meters of my tape machine hitting the ceiling.

SO NOW YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE was mainly performed by my brother Niklas with me joining in onviola da gamba, baroque travers flute and vocals. Niklas’s instrumentation comprises everything from organ via guitars to drums and an alto recorder. I think at the time we were quite heavily ins- pired by Pink floyd and the Moody blues, this rubbing off a bit on both arrangement and lyrics.

PASTOR GRAN is a song in Swedish about a fictive priest called (in English) "reverend Pine". The lyrics are a bit like the Beatles "Eleanor Rigby", playing on the feeling of alienation surrounding our beloved  clergy men. For this cut which was made in `72 I used a cheap semi acoustic guitar recording it straight off with my Sennheiser microphone and then coloring it like I often did with the aid of that oscillating old tape recorder. The flute is a tenor made of bamboo and constructed by my father back in the fifties. The holes are so wide apart that you would almost need a gorilla to play it!

FRÅN ST TILL ÖST is Swedish meaning "From east to west". Basically it was me and a pal strumming our way through Bob Dylan's "Lay lady lay" when suddenly this piece came along. The lead guitar is that same old Kawai fed through a wah-wah pedal and the brass in the background is my father Sven multi tracked on cornett, a sort of wooden trumpet commonly used in renaissance music long ago. The lyrics handle yet another melancholy topic, this time a yearning for summer days while strolling along a desolate strand with a pail gray ocean stretching out to the horizon and an empty sky up above.

THE PRICE (YOU HAVE TO PAY) was actually recorded in the late nineties in about the same period as when I did "Take a trip on my ferry". On this one I was heavily inspired by the Who and their classic "The kids are all right", while the lyrics try to convey the simple message that if you want to get something done you cannot just sit around and wait for it to happen. Among the instruments were a set of Greek shepherds pipes which I mixed in with the electric guitars.

YESTERDAYS DREAMS was written by my late brother Niklas and me in 1982 not so long after John Lennon had been murdered, thus being so heavily Beatles inspired. Niklas provided for nearly all of the instruments which may even have included the mellotron while I did the vocals. These were incidentally recorded with the signal from the microphone being  fed through a rather antique Meazzi guitar echo, thereby creating that special ambiance imbedded with multiple tap delays. Niklas passed away in 2001 leaving behind him an amazing legacy of beautiful songs and instrumental music which some day may be reissued on CD if the world ever gets lucky!


Peter and Hampus
Most of these pics were taken by photographer Ulrika Palme in 1971 at one of the first Gärdet festivals in Stockholm.


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