Station 21 – video of the week

October 4th, 2021

Video Of The Week – SoLBLoMMa (Sweden): Station 21

I always enjoy reviewing SoLBLoMMa. While I know her style is, let’s say, a little too abstract for some, she’s a very smart cookie who is always coming up with something different and entertaining and over the years she’s had more styles than Trinny Woodall’s skirts.

As well as a musician she’s a talented artist and filmmaker…and puppet master…and clown…and cartoonist…and IQ puzzle designer…and  the list goes on, and this video is the first to feature her avatar, huge eyes and all, although the real-life SoLBLoMMa gets a look-in as well.

‘Station 21’ has previously been released as ‘Girl at the station’ but now a completely new mix comes along with the animated video, which in this case was made by filmmaker Per Claeson of Transparent Media.

She says, “The song is about what all my songs are about. Waiting. Waiting for something … I do not know what.” Yes, it is something I’ve noticed. And particularly in one of the last songs of hers that I reviewed, in which in the video she was Madame Butterfly, waiting for Pinkerton in a Swedish bus shelter. I’ll leave that one to your imagination. In another she reprised Tom Hanks, trapped in an airport transit lounge and unable to leave, just waiting and waiting for something, or someone.

She’s a deep thinker, a philosophy graduate if I remember. She adds, “I think it’s the waiting for what’s going to happen or not that makes us put up with not being happy, because we think it’s going to change one day. If life is not good, it can be good. Therein lies the pleasure. As long as there is hope to hold on to, you can survive. The condition turns out to be to its own advantage and the anxiety about what is delayed gives a kind of joy, a fantasised consolation, which provides compensation for reality, the barren.

The video makes reference, naturellement, to Becket’s ‘Waiting for Godot’ (what else?) and she makes the point that in that play “nothing happens twice. Twice is the smallest number to indicate eternal repetition… But in the middle of the repetitive, it is suggested where we are going. We know where to. The terminus is the same for all.” Alles klar? Keep up.

Or perhaps, don’t. The next nugget is, “But before that, I’m sitting on the platform with candles in my brain, waiting. One day Pinkerton comes by train and says he wants me. As long as it has not happened, it can happen and I will be happy.” So, still Waiting for Pinkerton?

And there’s always a train or two in her songs. Believe it or not she’s the archetypal rail buff who can recite reams of train numbers and where she logged them.

In the video you’ll also see the Roman poet Virgil, for reasons that are lost on me, together with Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman (ditto) and SoLBLoMMa’s two mannequins, the original Miriam (who wears candles in her brain) and more recent family member Birgit. And yes, they are real life-sized mannequins which often appear on stage with her.

It also includes brief images of her as she appeared in a home-made video for the song ‘She said nothing’, which I would recommend as probably the best song she has written.

By now you’ve probably concluded that she’s barking but believe me, she isn’t; she simply knows how to take performance art to a different level, irrespective of whether or not her audience can attain that level themselves.

It seems she’s in the process of writing “a new album that takes place in The Divine Comedy. Virgil and I travel by train through the nine circles. Dante is not with us. He is standing on the mountain – he has already found what he is looking for.”

‘Nuff said.

David Bentley

Air Transport Economist/Analyst. Contemporary Music reviewer specialising in the Nordic countries.

Posted in: SoLBLoMMa