I wanted to do an instrumental intro with a sleepy vibe, full of syntpads and synthesizers and with a trumpet playing a nice melody. If you listen carefully you can hear variations of the chorus melody from ”I Wish I Could Lie” (track #3). The idea was to go straight into that song. But later I changed the order of the songs and luckily for me “Love's Gonna Show the Way” starts in the same key.
2. Love's Gonna Show the Way
I and Marika Willstedt actually wrote this song for the Swedish Eurovision Song Contest of 2007. Thank God, it didn't make it to the finals. I guess it's probably too much Westcoast feeling to fit a contest like that. This song has gone through some changes. The intro wasn't accapella from the beginning. I came up with that after solo-listening to the choruses in the studio. And with all those vocal stems it sounded like the perfect intro! The original version didn't have the guitar solo, it had to fit the 3 minute rule for the song contest. Without the solo it's 2.58! The drums and bass by Aron Mellergårdh and Henrik Linder from the sensational new group “Dirty Loops” give this song a perfect Westcoast/AOR feel. (You can also hear these amazing guys on “I Wish I Could Lie” and “Reasons”).
3. I Wish I Could Lie
This will always be very special to me since it was the first thing I wrote for the Sonic Station project and it's also the first song I contributed some lyrics to. It emerged while I was on vacation in Italy in 2006 with Marika Willstedt and a bunch of other musician friends. I started to play the guitar in the key of E with some open strings. It's one of the simplest songs I've written and it has a classic pop-music chord progression. The melody of the chorus just came to me and I started to sing the words “I wish I could lie to you” and then Marika filled out the rest. We finished it together that fall and recorded a first demo in early 2007.
4. Hold On To Me
I put the “I Wish I Could Lie” demo on my Myspace page (back then when people actually cared about Myspace) and by the summer of 2007 a Swedish music publisher contacted me and asked me to write a song for a female Swedish singer. She had some lyrics that I put music to. But nothing was published and nothing happened with the song. In 2010, when I was recording and producing the other songs of “Sonic Station”, I accidentally found this almost forgotten tune on my computer. I immediately realised that it was actually a perfect ballad for the Sonic Station album. I rearranged the form and changed some chords and then asked my father (who's also a songwriter) to write new lyrics and finally I also added some saxophone to it.
5. You Have to Let Me Go
I came up with the guitar riff for the intro and the choruses and Marika and I then completed the song in 30 minutes. Sometimes writing a good song can be that easy! But then it went through a few different phases before landing on the album. The early idea was to have a 70's sound, a bit like Toto's Hydra sound. But to make it fit in with the other songs on the album I transformed into this 80's AOR sound. Marika sang it first but I wanted a more angry voice and when I heard Tove Lo on a concert in Stockholm I knew she could do it the way I wanted. So even though it was initially conjured very smoothly it needed re-recording guitars, adding synthesizers, recording with a new singer and actually re-mixing two times before I was satisfied...
6. The Most Beautiful Fear
A composition that goes seven or eight years back in time. My father had an idea for a song starting with the chords D and Dsus to A minor 7. I really liked that progression and wrote the verse for what would become“The Most Beautiful Fear”. It was a nice little melody that I used to play on the guitar, but for a long time it never came any further than that. But when I decided to do a record of my songs I picked it up again and added the bridge and the chorus. The first version also have a 4 minutes outro, ending with a climax. Maybe we will play it like that on stage, but it doesn't fit on the album in that form. Still, this version also ends with a climax when Magnus Bäcklund increases the intensity of the last chorus. The drums were recorded in guitarist/producer/songwriter Mats “MP” Persson's (Roxette) studio. He is a long time friend of the drummer Thern Pettersson's. The 20 (!) percussion tracks give this tune a vivid and urban sound.
7. Running Through the Night
The original title was “He cares for no one”. It actually stayed like that all the way into the summer of 2011, when I finally decided to change the lyrics, about a guy being mean to his girlfriend. My father wrote new, more delicate lyrics. Now about a girl leaving her boyfriend in the middle of the night while he's fast asleep. This is the one and only track that features Erik Metall on the bass, the same guy who mixed the whole record. You will definitely see and hear more from him! He's a very talented bass player and a great engineer.
8. Never Let the Sunshine Die
As an old fan of Soundgarden this is where Giant meets grunge! I originally wrote it with the classic grunge guitar tuning “drop D”. Marika's lyrics are kind of influenced by the fuzzy lyrics of Chris Cornell and they are definitely up for interpretation. This is my favourite song with Kristoffer Fogelmark behind the microphone. His somewhat boyish tenor voice, with a touch of Bryan Adams, really grabs you! I caught the Swedish group Roxette on their reunion tour in fall 2011 and got really inspired by the approach of their guitarist Christoffer Lundquist. It was all about output and just hitting that guitar real hard! I went back home and recorded six different outro-solos, with his approach in mind, and finally settled for number three of those.
9. My Last Refrain
The only song I wrote behind the piano. I've been listening a lot to Christopher Cross, which I'm sure comes through on "My last refrain". The bridge is all Marika's and I think we can all hear that she's been listening to Gino Vanelli... I'm very happy with the drum sound here, Niklas Almgren's excellent playing behind the drums in his old friend Mikael Wikman's drumstudio. A room acoustically formed around a drum kit and intended only for recording drums with top notch quality!
10. Love You More
Also a song from the first demo session, but it went through a lot of changes before it ended up on the album. Initially built around a guitar figure that didn't make it to the final version. And having it like a duet wasn't the original idea either. David Larson (The Concept) came up with some nice progressions and melodies for the keyboard parts. Henrik Linder's heavy bass playing is rolling to the David Fosterish hi-hat/drum programming. The engineer Erik Metall also contributed to the final result with his old Roland D-50 and Yamaha DX-7 synthesizers!
A one hundred procent Marika Willstedt composition, but I arranged and produced it and play the guitar solo, this time acoustic. It's a strong, jazzy pop ballad which I think perfectly ends the album. She also wrote another great song in the same feel at the same time, but we keep that one for the next Sonic Station album!