Jesper Lindell’s new video with Amy Helm

Article Contributed by HearthMusic | Published on Monday, March 7, 2022

Swedish Americana singer Jesper Lindell’s second album, Twilights (coming March 18, 2022), is a creative tour de force, a compelling mix of blue-eyed soul and down-to-earth classic rock, a timeless sound coming anew from Scandinavia. During two years of setbacks – weathering label issues, a pandemic, cancelled tours, and a kidney disease to boot – Jesper and his band had little else to do but write and record music. The result is a remarkable new album recorded in their own studio in Brunnsvik, outside of Ludvika, Sweden. The record is produced by Lindell and Björn Pettersson, but is at its core a collaborative effort from the heart and soul of the whole band. This was fundamental to the recording sessions from the get-go – to encourage ideas and influences from all six members of the band. As the cherry on top, the album has three luminous guest singers: Swedish singer Klara Söderberg, one half of sister-duo First Aid Kit; French rockstar Theo Lawrence; and American singer Amy Helm, daughter of The Band’s Levon Helm. Though Twilights is inspired by legends like The Band and Van Morrison, the point has never been to copy or even imitate, but to listen and learn. To emulate an attitude, more than anything, and to follow their example in the creative process.

Other important sources of inspiration are not as obvious, musically speaking, but equally as logical. Local Ludvika rock hero Moneybrother – along with other Swedish giants such as Soundtrack Of Our Lives, Mando Diao, Atomic Swing, The Hives, The Ark, and The Creeps – all recorded their best and most timeless albums as unfiltered tributes to the American and British artists, songs and albums they loved. Lindell and his band follow the same Swedish tradition with the same unaffected attitude. Like alchemy, they turn this love and inspiration into pure auditory gold. Take the opening track “Westcoast Rain” and place it on one of Van The Man’s 70s records, and it would fit right in except for how it sounds so utterly contemporary. Or skip to “Dance”, a wholly irresistible duet with Theo Lawrence and a life-affirming tribute to both New Orleans Rhythm & Blues and Doug Sahm. “Twilight” is the one cover on the record, as well as the title source. A practically obscure track plucked from The Band’s 77 release Islands, it’s an elegant nod to the masters made no less so by Amy Helm’s luminous guest appearance.