Solblomma has been described, quite accurately, as perhaps the quirkiest artist ever to come out of Sweden …

January 12th, 2024

Solblomma has been described, quite accurately, as perhaps the quirkiest artist ever to come out of Sweden and while there is a lingering degree of eccentricity about her latest album, the conceptual ‘Tiptoe into Limbo,’ it is also the case that she displays a sense of maturity in it, the sort of maturity that says she knows the bridge between non-conformity and mainstream acceptance is not a wide one.

The album’s 11 compositions combine to tell a mystical tale set around Dante’s Divine Comedy but interwoven with the mundane reality of daily life in the 21st century. The story takes place in Hell, and in this interpretation Solblomma takes Dante’s place as she undertakes a journey through the three kingdoms that are thought to await man after death – Inferno (Hell), Purgatorio (Purgatory) and Paradiso (Paradise) – with the Roman poet Virgil (he of the Aeneid) in tow, through two halls and the nine circles of Hell.

Together they encounter the underworld’s immortal ferryman Charon, cross the River Acheron, and voyage down through the funnel of Hell. They tiptoe into Limbo, meet Kerberos, the multi-headed Hound of Hades, fight with lions, hide in the Charles Wain (Big Dipper) and then…check into a hotel.

The absurdity of these situations is on a par with those of Beckett and Camus.

Musically, this is undoubtedly Solblomma’s most satisfactory album to date.

Great imagination has been deployed in the use of synthesisers. I thought I’d heard most of what they are capable of at one time or another but there are sounds here I hadn’t previously encountered and ditto drum machines, producing here a heavier sound than you normally hear and some pieces that could have been penned by Vangelis or Jean-Michel Jarre.

There is a constant momentum to the album which rarely fluctuates, thus underlining the concept of a journey and the tracks range between soft vocal ones to a lively, poppy, orchestral synths and booming percussion dance track, to laid back groove, to mysterious pieces with complex rhythms, to this fascinating one, ‘Charles’ Wain (Circle VI)’, a softer piano piece to open, set to trap beats, which is more poppy, with a  big melody and with Polly Scattergood-like lyrics to finish it off and complete with her ‘delivery’.





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