Barn Swallow (at the time just Viktor and Peter) started playing together in 2008 in an apartment on the island of Hisingen. Though the two had similar musical ideas –both having a tradition in hard rock –yet coming from different social backgrounds. Viktor Pramås comes from the island of Hisingen while Peter Marckert hails from the deepest forests of Halland.
The band feels this has a definite impact on their music as many songs relate, consciously or subconsciously to the contrast between rural and urban. A contrast that the band thinks is important for people’s self-perception as a socio-economic class. Alexandra Reuter, who is from Trelleborg but lives in Gothenburg, joined the band a few years ago.
Barn Swallow’s EP was recorded between the island of Hisingen and the city of Kungälv in Sweden. According to the band the songs are critical of society, but it is also about longing. Therefore, it is titled “Hankering”.
“Hankering” is a 4-track EP that is great for those mornings when you’re just waking up and you want to sit down with a cup of coffee and stare out of the window at the freshly fallen snow. It’s a great wintery sounding album with a hint of spring towards the end. It’s peaceful yet it pulls at you from somewhere deep within. It is a musical diary of a 3 caring artists.
There’s something so deep and soulful in the plaintive acoustic arrangements on this recording. Mostly it’s gentle; mostly it’s bone-chillingly beautiful, like in “I’m Not in This Game All Alone” or “A Life”.
The triumph of “Hankering” lies in Barn Swallow’s ability to bring you to the very gates of discovery. They not only explore the inner spaces of society, but they stimulate you do it too. You’ll experience inquisitive minds and open hearts, set to uncomplicated, minimal acoustic backdrops. In its small size lies its vast power- no wasted chords, no misused words.
What Barn Swallow has crafted with this is a rarity. It feels utterly raw, familiar and nostalgic, yet at the same time breathtakingly fresh and original. The lyrics have an amazing impressionistic quality to them. After a few listens, you can determine what almost all the songs are about in a very general sense, but the specifics are up to you.
There is an ebb and flow to the track progression that gently kind of pulls you along with the emotions in each, starting with the Ep opener, “Dandelion” as Barn Swallow melt words into chords and vice versa. The music is subtle and yet powerful at the same time.
All-round, “Hankering” is a well-crafted indie-folk styled album that translates beautifully into music which evokes soulfulness, pathos and empathy.