I am very pleased to be able to announce that my “upcoming” album Soundshine ACTUALLY is “coming”, finally!!! The first country that will have the album in stores is Japan and the release date is Dec 7, 2011. The album will be released by the fine label Thistime Records.
As some of you may know my former band The Merrymakers had some success in Japan in the late 90’s when we sold more than 100,000 copies of our albums and our song “Monument of me” was a huge radio hit. I had the fortune of going there five times with the band during that period until things calmed down. We made promotional tours doing radio interviews, and in-store performances, signed CD’s, played a showcase gig (with ex-Jellyfish Andy Sturmer on drums!), and so on… I developed a long term love affair with the country and Japan has a very special place in my heart. Through the years I have found so many wonderful people there and things don’t get worse by the fact that I have had the luxury of having a few of my songs released by Japanese artists like Puffy, Miku Kakoi, Sarasa IFU, Yuko Yamaguchi, and Tokio.
As everybody know 2011 has been a year of terrible catastrophes for Japan and my thoughts and deepest concerns have since then been with its people and my heart goes out for all of those who have lost their loved ones.
After such an enormous tragedy the event of releasing my album suddenly can feel even smaller and more unimportant than before when looking at things in a big perspective, but nonetheless it’s a long-awaited (at least for me personally) “comeback” on the Japanese scene as an artist. Way too many years have passed since the release of the Merrymakers last album Bubblegun. I’m looking very much forward to trying to spread some “soundshine” and joy in Japan and I will also be going there for a promotional tour to support the album in the very beginning of January 2012.
The Japanese version of the album will have of two bonus tracks. Both are songs that I originally wrote for the phenomenal and famous Japanese artist duo called Puffy (a.k.a. PuffyAmiYumi). The first one is an exclusive “for Japan only” song called “Boom Boom Beat”.
Feel free to check out Puffy’s version as well (that was produced by former co-Merrymaker Anders Hellgren and me) in this live performance:
The second bonus track is called “Record Collection” and it’s a song I’ve written together with the extremely talented and succesful Swedish songwriter Peter Kvint who I had the pleasure to get to know during a songwriting camp in Tokyo a couple of years ago. Puffy released it earlier this year as their 15th anniversary song which was kind of logical since in their version it was called “Happy Birthday”.
So in some funny way my new versions will by “covers” of my own songs. Confusing indeed! I had a lot of fun returning to the songs again, and recording them in my own way and the best thing is that Ami and Yumi from Puffy were kind enough to lend their vocal services adding some background vocals to these versions so the two bonus tracks will be “David Myhr feat. Puffy”.
For those in the rest of the world who are very eager to hear the album, or are in desperate need for the ultimate Christimas gift – please feel free to investigate the possibilities of international orders either from Thistime Records Onlinestore or here at CD Japan. But rest assured that there will be a European release in the spring of 2012. To stay tuned for updates, just subscribe to this blog and “like” my Facebook page.
I was in London in May co-ordinating a study visit trip to meet songwriters and record producers with the last year students from the studio- and rock musicians programme at the Division of Music at LTU. In one of the studios we bumped into to a very talented Swedish sound engineer with an amazing track record called Thomas Juth and we got to know each other. Over dinner a few days later he told me about his life long dream about renting the Abbey Road studio two for a day and that he was determined to do it one of these days and also inviting his father and brother who are also Beatles loving musicians. He said he had thought about inviting some songwriter, musician, producer kind of person to be part of the session and also to bring in a song to record, and it turned out he had me in mind! It’s easy to guess how long it took to convince me to do it. I had of course said “yes” already before he had actually had time to ask me the question.
To make a long story short that day is today Nov 19, 2011! So I’m writing this from within the premises of Abbey Road Studios and the idea is to just play music together, experiment with sounds, trying out old legendary vintage microphones and gear, record, and have lots of fun. It surely will be a memory for a life time. The song I brought in for today’s session is a song called “Never mine” that will be the opening track of my upcoming album Soundshine. But the version we’re recording today will be an “alternate take” on this song. I’m smiling inside to the crazy idea that the studio chosen for this “obscure version” is being recorded in the worlds most famous studio – the very same studio that the Beatles recorded all their albums in. A not too wild guess about how this version will turn out is that it will have a lot more psychedelic Beatly vibe to it but we’ll see. After all, today we’re not here to try to change music history but more to study the process of how music history was made from within the actual room were a big part of it was created. I hope to be able to share the result with you sometime in a not too distant future. OK, folks, that’s all for now – I have to get back to recording…
Writing the songs was done over a period of years and years, recording was done over a period of almost a year, mixing was done over a period of a few months, and mastering was done in a day (see blog post from the mastering at Abbey Road), but with all that done in late spring of this year – it turned out I was far from finished with the making of Soundshine. I obviously needed an artwork as well and hadn’t been able to get going during the recording process. I had set the goals high. I wanted a striking image that also reflects the music and the title of the album. I contacted a few people with a cry for help… I told them I was in desperate need of a “beautiful, colourful, cool and timeless cover art with a pop feel!”. I ended up working with an old friend of mine, Pelle Hökengren, who is a professional graphic designer working for his own company. Pelle is also a musician himself with a background as the guitar player of famous Swedish band Trance Dance.
I have previous experience of working together with him since he made the artwork for The Merrymakers debut album “No Sleep ’til Famous” all those years ago back in 1995. He kindly offered his services again and we decided to get going. We had an initial creative discussion about what we wanted to achieve and decided to build a miniature of some kind and have a photo taken and that’s it. What to put in the miniature we weren’t so sure about. However summer came in the way. My wife and I had planned a vacation trip to Thailand and Pelle asked me to be on the look for “stuff” to put into the picture. I came back with a bunch of small flowers, a big fake sunflower, and some miniature animals including a frog, a fish and a bird which Pelle thougt was “usable”. However, Pelle was quite skeptical about the need of my miniature clowns with musical instruments, the fat Asian couple in hawaiian skirts and sun-hats or the elephant that I had also bought. But so was my wife (she’s scared of clowns!) so that was mainly a relief. Pelle got going, found help from his creative daughter Jonna with the construction work, and towards the fall he could present the finished result which today I’m proud to present for the first time to the world. Ladies and gentlemen – here we go – the album cover for Soundshine!!!
For those interested in the techniques behind the making of this image – please check out a my video blog from when I first got to see the miniature that blocked the dinner table for Pelle and his family for weeks and the video blog documenting the photo shoot…