A Village: Natural Light

In regards to the album “A Village Natural Light” by Christian Kjellvander

I am writing to you as a fan and as a friend of Christian Kjellvander. I have been calling myself this since 2002 when I met Christian as he was about to release his fine album “Songs From A Two-Room Chapel”. I've been writing these things ever a friend and as a fan. This has become a truly special time. I was sitting in Christian's kitchen in Malmö when he picked up a guitar and played the album Faya in its entirety. I was sitting in his living room in Rynge when he played me the final mix of I Saw Her From Here/I Saw Here From Her. He was at my house in Denmark when he played me the demos for Rough and the Rynge. When Christian bought an old church in a tiny swedish village I brought my family. We stayed there right before he started recording The Pitcher. Walking around that big beautiful room, hearing how beautiful it sounded and knowing that this sound would be captured on many amazing albums to come was comforting. The giving of music got a little less romantic when I received The Pitcher as a Soundcloud link. What can you do, right?

I have worried that we would grow apart musically. That those special times would lose meaning. For this very reason I am so extremely happy to inform you that this new album is the best there is. It is so amazingly good, people!!! I have Always believed that Christian Kjellvander was up there among the greatest. I think this album is final proof. You may press play now!

In an ideal world I would stop here and you would sit back and listen to the album. If you chose to do so I want to congratulate you for living in my ideal world. By now it should be clear that you're in for something special and for obvious reasons you don't need me anymore. In an ideal world I wouldn't even be part of this equation but some of you want more.

You say that time is limited and you are a bit doubtful because you've never heard about me......and why would you trust a stranger? I don't know. All I know is that because of those doubts I am taking up even more space.

A Village Natural Light is an album about living, loving and dying. When I listen to these songs I think about how important it is to really live your life. You know the songs that make you dream about places far far away and how they give you that urge to get up and get out? Not this time...These songs right here are about staying and riding it out. Create a life of your own, surround yourself with good people, don't let bastards get you down and make the most of what you got. Make sure to love. Look at your wife. Love her. Love her like crazy. Fight the battles. Stick to it. Look at your children. You made them.

Hold them close and set them free. Christian told me that he had started working part time in a cemetary in a small Swedish village while writing these songs because he wanted to get the realest job he could and let it bleed into his songs. Make something that truely sounded like where he was right a village, like a microcosm of the world we live in today facing life and death.

This leads me to thinking about the beauty in mourning and how it's an important part of life. I think about how we isloate ourselves from other people and how it takes away our reasons to mourn. Without love in our lives there will be no mourning. This is what I'm getting out of these songs. A mixture of genuine happiness, sadness and appreciation.

The album was recorded at Christian's old church in Österåker by Ruben Engzell. The band really made the most out of that beautiful sounding room and passed on those impressive sounding tracks to Craig Schumacher who took things even further and created truly one of a kind mixes. These mixes got sent to the amazing JJ Golden at Golden Mastering which leads us to the album you should be listening to now. A truly great album by a truly great artist who has been releasing nothing but great albums since the late 90’s. This one right here is my favorite though. I hope you will love it too!

“Forget me when I'm gone. I was never here”. That line is from Riders in the Rain. All I can say is.........good luck with that, buddy. These songs of yours will live forever!

Henry Toft